Sophomore Stacy Carol has been punished several times by the school for wearing facial jewelry that

violates school
dress code. The school will have a disciplinary hearing on April 10 to remove her to an alternative school until she
remove the jewelry.
“When we created this dress code in 2009, the district sought input from student, faculty, and community
members,” superintendent Parker Gordon said. “Together, we designed a plan that was appropriate for our district.
Facial jewelry did not make the cut.”
Carol and her mother, Lareina, belong to the Church of Body Modification, and facial jewelry is part of the church.
Stacy says her First Amendment, freedom of religion, is being violated by the school.
“I don’t understand why the district won’t drop this,” Stacy said “I have never been suspended. In fact, I have never
had a referral. I am a straight-A student. I just want to get back to class. My mother and I joined the church over the
winter break. We had been searching for a church since we moved to Leaguestown last year. We meet at the
minister's house with about seven to 10 members each Sunday.”
The school’s dress code prohibits all facial piercings except ears for females. The dress code also prohibits hats
and headwear, but two Muslim students have exemptions so they can wear their hijabs.
“ I don’t think you can compare the Muslim religion to the Church of Body Modification,” junior Amina Shakuri said.
“ We have a rich and long history. I don’t have a problem with Stacy’s lip piercing, but comparing her lip piercing to my
hijab is absurd.”
The local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) agreed to defend Stacy at her discipline hearing
and said if she lost, they would pursue the issue in court.
“Stacy has a solid case,” ACLU lawyer Sonia Stephens said “It is in the best interest of the school district to allow
her a religious exemption from the dress code. A court case could be costly and lengthy. The district doesn’t have to
stand on since it already has two religious exemptions on file. It will be hard pressed to defend that in court.”
Constitutional lawyer Jett Ramirez has expressed an opinion about Carol’s disciplinary hearing.
“People cry First Amendment violation all of the time,” Ramirez said. “Freedom of religion is a big one. Just
because a few people get together and call themselves a church doesn’t mean they are a church in the eyes of the
law. Heck, in Australia, there is a movement for a Jedi Church.”
The church has a clergy, a statement of beliefs and a formal process for accepting new members. The church says
it has approximately 3,500 member is the U.S. The minister of Stacy’s church declined to comment.

“I was grateful when ACLU agreed to help us,” Lareina said.“The piercing is part of Stacy’s religion. My daughter
wants to go to class, but she also doesn’t want her First Amendment right trampled.I asked Stacy if she wanted to
back down and take out the lip jewelry, but she believes in our church and in our freedom. She wants to stand up for
herself and for that, I am proud.”