NC teen: Nose ring more than fashion, it's faith

RALEIGH, N.C. – A soft-spoken 14-year-old's nose piercing has landed her a suspension from school and forced her into the middle of a fight over her First Amendment right to exercise her religion.

Ariana Iacono says she just wants to be a normal teenager at Clayton High School, about 15 miles southeast of Raleigh. She has been suspended since last week because her nose ring violates
the Johnston County school system's dress code.

"I think it's kind of stupid for them to kick me out of school for a nose piercing," she said. "It's in the First Amendment for me to have freedom of religion."

Iacono and her mother, Nikki, belong to the Church of Body Modification, a small group unfamiliar to rural North Carolina, but one with a clergy, a statement of beliefs and a formal process for
accepting new members.

It's enough to draw the interest of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has contacted school officials with concerns that the rights of the Iaconos are being
violated by the suspension.

The Iaconos say the school system is ignoring its own dress code policy, which allows exemptions on religious grounds. The effect, Nikki Iacono, 32, says, is that Johnston County school officials
are setting themselves up as judges of what constitutes a "real"

"We pretty much flat-out asked them, what guidelines are you following? What do you need to establish a sincere religious belief?," she said. "We were told that if we were Hindu, or she were
Muslim, it would be different."

On Tuesday, after her first suspension ended, Ariana
went back to school with her mother — and her nose ring. She was
suspended again, this time for five days. If she comes back to school on
Sept. 21 with the nose stud, she'll face a 10-day suspension or
referral to "alternative schooling," Nikki Iacono said

This is a story taken from yahoo headlines. They claim to be from the church of Church of Body Modification. Would love to hear some thoughts on this. Why do people always feel the need to create religions to do what they please? Why not just wear the piercing or modify your body without trying to make it religious. Freedom of expression should be the front runner not freedom of religion.

Views: 345

Comment by Yet Another Atheist on September 17, 2010 at 11:01am
This isn't a religion. What a stupid fucking story.
Comment by Michael Jon Axl on September 17, 2010 at 11:09am
My point exactly.
Comment by Fancy Nancy on September 18, 2010 at 4:18am
Yeah but credit to the girl ... the law is an ass isn't it? She planning to be a lawyer?
Comment by Jon Heim on September 18, 2010 at 4:28am
I actually already posted about this. lol
Comment by Michael Jon Axl on September 20, 2010 at 10:14am
Sorry Jon but I don't and I didn't see were you posted this story. If I had i would not have posted it. But you can never have enough information on the internet.

To shine, I see your point but what is the reason for having a religion in the first place. We need to somehow cut back on how people cling to a religion no matter what it is or religions will be around forever. Not all are bad and not all people involved in them are bad, but in the long run giving people the option to just keep creating new religions based on their personal beliefs will eventually lead to the creation of a terrible religion. One much worse then Christianity or Islam.
Comment by Velogiraptor on October 23, 2010 at 2:25pm
I would see this as more of a free speech issue than even a religion one. Could she be expelled for having a tattoo? I'm not sure, but there was at least one supreme court decision in support of students wearing black armbands in protest of the Vietnam war as a form of protected speech. Either way, I don't see this as being in any way disruptive to class. It looks more like a case of someone who should never have authority over another human being in a position of authority over other human beings.
Comment by Malcolm on October 23, 2010 at 10:57pm
From Wiki:

In 2002, a member of the Church of Body Modification was fired from a Costco because of an eyebrow ring. When taken to trial, the court ruled in favor of Costco saying that this was not protected under the First Amendment because her religious beliefs did not require her to always wear her eyebrow ring.

A 14-year-old member of the Church was suspended from Clayton High School in North Carolina, USA because a nose stud was against the dress code. The ACLU took the matter to federal court on free speech grounds, and a federal judge ruled in her favor October 8, 2010.


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