'Religious piercing' girl allowed back to school
Published 09/10/2010 | 05:00
A federal judge yesterday ordered a North Carolina school to admit a 14-year-old student who was suspended for wearing a nose piercing she says is part of her religion.
US District Judge Malcolm Howard announced his decision allowing Ariana Iacono to return to school during a hearing, said her attorney, Jon Sasser. The Johnston County school system has a dress code banning facial piercings, along with short skirts, sagging pants and other items deemed distracting or disruptive, but allows for exemptions based on "sincerely held religious beliefs".
The Iaconos belong to a small religious group called the Church of Body Modification, which sees piercings and tattoos as religious devotion. The church has 3,500 members nationwide.