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News Story #2

Sophomore Stacy Carol has been suspended for three days because of the refusal to remove her
lip piercing, which is said to be apart of her religion and the local chapter of the ACLU agreed to defend
Carol at her discipline hearing and if she lost, would pursue the issue in court.
I don't understand why the district won't drop this. 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, Carol said.
Carol and her mother, Lareina, belong to the Church of Body Modification, which is a church that
practices ancient and modern body modifications rites as ways of experiencing the divine.
We don't worship a tattooed god or anything like that. Our spirituality comes from what we choose
to do to ourselves, Carol said. Through body modification, we can change how we see ourselves and
the world around us. Not every member has a facial piercing. You choose how to express your faith.
Superintendent Parker Gordon said they created the dress code in 2009, and the district sought
input from the students, faculty, and community members, but facial jewelry just did not make the cut.
We have a dress code to have order and discipline in our schools. Imagine what our schools will be
like if we allowed everyone to wear whatever they liked, Gordon said. We also want our students to
understand our expectations in dress. Employers have dress codes. We are modeling the business world
with our expectations.
Lareina said she was grateful to ACLU for helping them and that Carol didn't want her First
Amendment rights trampled on and Lareina also asked her daughter if she wanted to back down and take
off the lip jewelry. Lareina said she was proud that Carol is standing up for their church and their freedom.
People cry First Amendment violations all the time. Freedom of religion is a big one. Just because a
few people get together and call themselves a church doesn't mean that they are a church in the eyes of
the law,said Jett Ramirez, a constitutional lawyer. In Australia there is a movement for a Jedi church.
Does this mean that we have to allow all boys to wear Jedi Knight robes and carry lightsabers to school? I
believe the courts will see the absurdity in this.
Junior Amina Shakuri said she doesn't think that they should compare the Muslim religion to the
Church of Body Modification.
We have a rich and long history. There are more than a billion Muslims worldwide, she said. Our
beliefs are documented. I don't have a problem with Stacys lip piercing, but comparing her lip piercing to
my hijab is absurd.
ACLU lawyer Sonia Stephens said Carol has a solid case and that it's the schools best interest to
allow her a religious exemption from the dress code.
A court case could be costly and lengthy. The district doesn't have much to stand on since it already
has two religious exemptions on file,she said. It will be hard pressed to defend that in a court.