A teenager has been banned from school until she removes her nose piercing — and if the unexcused absences continue, her parents could be fined up to $1,500.
Demijoe Bamforth, a 14-year-old in East Yorkshire, England, got a nose piercing last week for her birthday. But when she showed up at her school, Kelvin Hall, with the small stud, she was sent away due to her school’s strict uniform policy. Demijoe has refused to take out the stud, since she says it needs to stay in for six weeks or the hole risks getting infected or closing up, she told the Hull Daily Mail. But each day she wears the nose ring to school, she is sent home, and she has already missed five days. “I’m missing out on my education just because I’ve got a piercing,” she said.
Every time Demijoe is sent away from school, she receives two unexcused absences, which means she currently has 10 on her record. If she reaches 20, her parents could face a fine from the U.K. Department for Education of up to £1,000, or just over $1,500. “I’m terrified about being taken to court,” Vicky Stark, Demijoe’s mom, told Metro.co.uk. Stark is unemployed and Demijoe’s father is a taxi driver, and Stark says they can’t afford the fine, but they also can’t get their daughter to remove the stud.
“I don’t like the piercing, but it’s literally as big as a spot — you can hardly see it,” Stark told the Huffington Post. “If she’s not allowed it, then she’s not allowed it, but there’s not a lot I can do. I’m trying to be fair as I can with the school, but they are blatantly saying no to everything I’m suggesting.”
The school says that the policy on facial piercings is clear. “In common with virtually all schools, we do not allow facial piercings of any sort. Parents are fully aware of this when they choose to send their child to Kelvin Hall,” deputy head teacher Ray Khan said in a statement. “The Department for Education expects schools to have, and maintain, strict rules with regard to uniform and appearance. We have taken this position throughout our journey to becoming ‘outstanding’ in all categories.”
Demijoe still heads to school every morning, but she has been continually sent away. “I’m a bit disappointed with the school, and I’m a bit surprised,” Stark told the Huffington Post. “Her normal teacher has always been brilliant. It seems like I can’t do anything right.”
(Photo: Ross Parry/SWNS)