A Blackpool dad has criticised his daughter’s school for sending the 13-year-old home for having a nose stud.
Ian Long, 48, of Boothley Road, was called to Montgomery Academy on Tuesday to pick up his daughter Kimberley after she was isolated due to her nose piercing.
He said the school was being ‘ridiculous’ by excluding his daughter from lessons.
But Montgomery Academy head teacher Stephen Careless said that the school held strict rules against facial piercing that it expected parents to be aware of.
He said: “Montgomery’s uniform has always included a statement saying that facial piercings are not allowed. Parents are reminded annually of the rule and they are advised that if their son or daughter is considering it they should wait until the summer holidays to get it done and for it to heal so that it can be taken out in time for the new school term.”
But Mr Long said the piercing had no impact on his daughter’s ability to learn. Last year hew was fined £150 for keeping his daughter off school sick without a doctor's note.
He said: “Myself and my wife were both fined for her not going to school and we were told her education was that important that she couldn’t have time off school, and if we wanted to keep her off we’d have to get a doctors note. And yet the school can send her home just due to a small nose piercing.
“They wanted to put her in isolation which I disagree with as she has done nothing wrong. Her education can’t be that important to them if they can send her home over a tiny nose stud.”
Kimberley and three other girls had their noses pierced six weeks ago, and were permitted, the school said, to cover them up with plasters until after the Easter holidays, when the piercings would have to be removed.
However, Mr Long said Kimberley did not want to remove the piercing as she was worried it would heal up.
It is estimated that a nostril piercing can take up to six months to fully heal.
Mr Long said: “I said could she not cover it up with a plaster? But they said that’s not good enough and she’s got to take it out. Yet her own best friend in school has been allowed to cover it up with a plaster.
“She has been off a few times just down to general illness - just stuff that parents know about where you don’t necessarily have to take your child to a doctor.
“We were taken to court last year for Kimberley being poorly and both myself and my wife were fined. Now even if she is ill she has to go to school.
“Her education’s very, very important and she’s not getting her education if she’s sat at home because of a little piercing in her nose. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. She should have been allowed to cover it up with a plaster.”
He said he was not aware of the rule against piercings when Kimberley had her nose pierced at a shop in Blackpool town centre, but that he did not want to waste the £30 spent on the piercing by allowing it to close up.
Head teacher Stephen Careless said: “Unfortunately some six weeks ago, despite warnings, four students had their noses pierced.
“They were given plasters to cover the stud whilst the piercing healed and given a letter for parents, stating that they would not be allowed to wear their piercing whether it was covered or not, after the Easter break.
“A letter went to all parents stating that students who refused to take it out would be put in isolation until they removed it.
“The school has been in regular contact with the families involved.
“Two students arrived (on Tuesday) with their nose studs still in and were asked to remove them. One tried at length to remove it and got half of it out. Due to her efforts to remove it she was allowed to go to lesson with a plaster over the piercing for yesterday only. Another student refused point blank to cooperate and also to sit in isolation for the day. This person was subsequently excluded for the rest of the day.
“(On Wednesday) there was a meeting with the student and father, where the school restated its position on nose-studs and copies of the letters previously sent were given again to the parent.
"The student again refused to take it out and again refused to sit in isolation. The father said that he would take his daughter back to the shop where she got the piercing to have it removed and his daughter would be back (on Thursday).”
Mr Long, who works as a removal man, said that he took Kimberley back to the shop where she had her piercing done to replace the stud with a much smaller, plastic piercing ‘the size of a pin head’, but that the school had excluded her again yesterday.
Mr Careless said: “We hope that she will remove the piercing as soon as possible to enable her to re-join her regular classes.”