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Swedish teen denied spot in school due to piercing

The Local/dl · 22 Jun 2011, 08:32

Published: 22 Jun 2011 08:32 GMT+02:00

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The girl had previously been granted a much-sought-after spot at the Grenadjär School in Örebro in central Sweden, a publicly-funded, privately-managed free school with a Christian profile.

However, when staff discovered she had a pierced nose, the family was told she wasn't welcome.

"When we were going to sign the papers the principal said my daughter wasn't welcome in their school if she had a piercing in her nose," the mother wrote in her complaint to the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen), according to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

"She compared it to tattoos and short skirts."

According to the school's dress code, students aren't allowed to tattoos, clothing with racist slogans, or piercings.

School principal Yvonne Wirhall said the school's ban on piercings and tattoos is reasonable considering all the students are 15-years-old or younger.

"Our wish is that the girl leave the piercing at home," she told the local Nerikes Allehanda newspaper.

"That's something you do when you get older," she said.

Wirhall emphasised that the girl hasn't been denied entry to the school, per se, but that the school has expressed its desire that the small pearl the girl wears in her nose be left at home.

The request didn't sit well with the girl's mother, however, who chose report the school's policy to Sweden's education watchdog agency.

Story continues below…

The agency, which received the complaint on June 10th, has requested that the school provide a response by July 7th.

According to Wirhall, she is prepared to change the school's policy if the agency finds that the school's ban on piercings is unjustified.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:20 June 22, 2011 by johnny1939
What kind of parents allow body piercings anyway? I was not even allowed to have my ears pierced when I was 15. Actually I finally got them done at 40 after losing a bunch of ear rings and husband insisted.
12:04 June 22, 2011 by farnoxo
"a publicly-funded, privately-managed free school with a Christian profile"...because, of course, god doesn't like teenagers with piercings.

Maybe if christian institutions pulled their heads out of their ar#ses for long enough they would see why their support is dwindling down to a few old age pensioners and the odd alcoholic looking for free tea and biscuits!
12:08 June 22, 2011 by Swedesmith
Were the parents aware of the policy before they applied for this school? If so, they should have worked this out beforehand with their child or not applied. If not, the solution is simple: take the piercing out for school and put it back in after school.

I don't have a problem with the piercing personally, but the school has a right to adhere to a dress code. If the dress code is applied evenly across the board, the parents have no grounds for complaint.
12:48 June 22, 2011 by luke123
This being a 'school with a christian profile', it is most likely some ultra conservative establishment, so it comes as no surprise that they would have some conservative school regulations as well.

So the question should be, why is anyone surprised that a conservative school acts conservatively, and why would parents that don't subscribe to these values want to send their daughter there so badly anyway ?
13:23 June 22, 2011 by Elvine
The principal had piercings herself, in the earlobes and so had many of the students in that school.
13:44 June 22, 2011 by Sethandra
"According to the school's dress code, students aren't allowed to tattoos, clothing with racist slogans, or piercings."

If its against the school rules then its against the school rules. Jeez....

It has no bearings on whether its a Christian school or not.
14:07 June 22, 2011 by Strongbow
The school comments in (pdf) http://bit.ly/lbUpFm that the dress policy is accepted by the other parents and adds that the Swedish piercing organization ASAP [sic] suggests no piercings except lobes until the age 15 and after that only with parents' approval. If this is hard to accept by the girl and/or her parents then maybe they don't really share the values of that school and should find another that approves underage facial piercings. To me this sounds like a snowflake problem, maybe in combination with the preacher's daughter syndrome.
16:00 June 22, 2011 by voiceofreason
If the mother really loves this school so much that she wants her daughter there, she should be glad that they still have some form of standard.

Would she like that the school make a U-turn and allow everything possible and then admit her child into the school.
17:21 June 22, 2011 by stillwatersrd
That's an earring? I thought it was a rather unpleasant-looking pimple.
20:51 June 22, 2011 by redfish
Luke said: "... and why would parents that don't subscribe to these values want to send their daughter there so badly anyway ?"

Same reason the parents would let a girl under 15 get a nose piercing, they believe they're forward thinking and want to challenge accepted norms.

Some of the commenters here are being misled by the article title. The school said she could go there if she left the nose piercing at home, they just have a dress code. The people who run the school don't want to control their students lives in private, they just want a certain example set in the school.

Too conservative? Maybe, but as long as they let her in the school so far as she conforms to the dress code, the mother doesn't have a case.
00:46 June 23, 2011 by prince T
The person I am most concerned about is the mum. She is helping to raise a future menace in the community. It is high time we get a licence to have child. Many people can drive but are not allowed to do so till they get a licence. Those going to have children must be able to prove that they are capable of raising the children.
20:11 October 25, 2011 by Kahmoudi
Didn't the parents want their daughter to attend that school because of it's high standards and policies? I'd say it's a more than silly and hypocritical to want to pick and choose which policies they want to follow. More power to the school and administration to sticking to its guns. Seems that Sweden is drowning in its haphazard mismanagement of everything and could learn a thing or two from having some logical rules and regulations that are adhered to.
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