28 Oct : Indo-Americans have urged Bountiful Junior High School in Utah (USA) to immediately reinstate its student who was reportedly kicked out of school for nose piercing, alleging violation of school dress code.
Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that this student was apparently honoring the tradition of her father, who was reportedly from India, by putting a stud in her pierced nose. Nose piercing and nose ornaments had been a tradition of women of India for centuries and the Hindu goddesses had been depicted wearing nose ornaments.
It appeared to be discrimination. It was denying the right to this teenager to express her religious and cultural identity freely, who appeared to sincerely believe that wearing a nose stud was part of her religion and culture. School should admit its mistake, reinstate and apologize to student Suzannah Pabla and her parents, and amend the dress code accordingly, Zed, who is the chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, argued.
Rajan Zed further said that they respected the school dress code policy as long as it did not violate the traditions and beliefs of the pupils. Noses of girls in India were usually pierced around puberty and it reportedly found mention in ancient Ayurvedic text. Old architecture and paintings of India depicted the presence of tradition of nose ornaments and Indian poets had been singing their praise. It appeared that the student was being penalized for her beliefs.
Brent Stephens is the principal of the School which is part of Davis School District (Farmington, Utah), whose Mission Statement includes “adapt to our diverse and changing world” and part of its Belief Statement says: “Understanding and acknowledging the value of cultural and individual diversity enriches the learning environment and is essential to an interdependent, caring society.” Dr. W. Bryan Bowles is the superintendent.