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Josh Correa

4th Period

Dressing for School Prison

Sophomore Stacy Carol feels her freedom of religion is being violated at school because
of her body piercing which is a part of her religion. Superintendents of the school believe that
body piercings for the religion should not count towards this freedom.The superintendents
believe that the religion does not count towards the first amendment. Because of this they have
had her stay in ISS.
Stacy has attended the Church of Body Modification since last winter break. She has
been stopped by superintendents of the school saying she must remove the lip-piercing or face
the consequences.
I dont understand why the district wont drop this, Stacy said. I have never been
suspended. In fact, I have never had a referral.
School superintendent Parker Gordon believes the body modifications should be
prohibited because they go against the dress code policy made in 2009. Therefore , the lippiercing that Stacy has does not get exempted by the school district such as the hijab. Gordon
believes that the piercing shouldnt be exempted because the students and the community were
able to provide what they wanted and didnt want for the dress code.
When we created this dress code in 2009, the district sought input from students,
faculty and community members, Gordon said. Together we designed a plan that was
appropriate for our district. Facial Jewelry did not make the cut.
Stacy believes the district is taking away her first amendment rights. The school district
has scheduled a date for a disciplinary hearing on April 10 in court. The American Civil Liberties
Union has agreed in helping Stacy in the court saying that if she lost they would bring the case
back into court. ACLU lawyer, Sonia Stephens, is confident that the case should be won due

to the school violating the first amendment and because Muslim students are allowed to wear
hijabs as their religious customs.
It is in the best interest of the school district to allow her a religious exemption from the
dress code, Stephens said A court could be costly and lengthy. It will be hard pressed to
defend themselves in court.
The school has its own lawyer that will be facing Stacy in the courtroom and will be
against her having the lip-piercing. Constitutional lawyer, Jett Ramirez, will be in the
courtroom for the school believing that it is better for the school to win than Stacy. She believes
not every religion that is as small as this one should be counted towards dress code
People cry First Amendment violations all the time, Ramirez said. Freedom of religion
is a big one. Just because a few people get together and call themselves a church doesnt
mean they are a church in the eyes of the law.
Although the case has been taken into court, it has had an impact on students in the
school district. Junior, Amina Shakuri, believes that it is good for Stacy to fight for her
religious beliefs though she shouldnt compare it to others that have more history and a bigger
audience. She believes that Stacy shouldnt compare her lip piercing to that of the cross or the
There are more than a billion Muslims worldwide, Shakuri said. Our beliefs are
documented. I dont have a problem with Stacys lip piercing, but comparing her lip piercing to
my hijab is absurd.