A school clampdown on piercings has angered some parents who claim tough new enforcement measures are barring their kids from “getting an education”.
Strood Academy has come under fire over the issue with children reportedly being held in isolation or sent home when adorning the facial appendage.
Parents believe a change in leadership two months ago has seen a tightening of the rules around school uniform policy.
But the academy has hit back at claims it’s being heavy-handed and says the current rules were introduced in consultation with parents three years ago with most “supportive of the standards” in place.
Sumon Miah’s 15-year-old daughter, Alesha, has had her piercing for six weeks.
He disagrees with the school’s stance, telling KentOnline: “My kid was put in isolation and bullied to remove it. She phoned me crying as I was told to come and collect her.
“She is doing her mock GCSE exams at the moment but she is having to miss them because of this stud in her nose.
The dad added: “She has had it for six weeks now and it wasn’t a problem before but now they have been trying to force her to take it out.
“She can’t remove it because it will close up and when we removed it the other day it just bled non-stop.”
According to Sumon and his wife, having your nose pierced is important to their cultural heritage and is often seen as a marital symbol.
They explained: “Women tend to get a nose piercing in young adulthood in preparation for marriage. We’re not saying our daughter is anywhere near that stage in her life but it is a cultural thing to get it pierced.
“We want to work with the school and come to a compromise, it’s not a fashion accessory it has a cultural meaning.
“If they came to me I would be able to explain to them why she needs it.”
Alesha currently has a clear stud which has been ground down to a flat end in an attempt to make it as invisible as possible but she is still asked to remove it.
Another parent angry at the school’s “iron fist” approach is Jade Milton.
Her 12-year-old daughter had her nose pierced four months ago but it has now caused her to miss a week of school.
The 32-year-old from Strood said: “She’s not being naughty so why is she being punished?
“The teacher that brought her out to me on Friday had an ear stretcher in. Are you saying she isn’t allowed a clear plastic stud when he has one of those things?
“The stud has a blood blister behind it so you can’t take it out.
It’s a joke how a clear stud is stopping her from getting an education
“They won’t allow her to cover it or anything. I asked if it was just a blister or a spot would she be able to cover it and they said yes but because it has a piercing in it she can’t.
“It’s a joke how a clear stud is stopping her from getting an education.”
Strood Academy confirmed in April a new principal was put in charge which some parents have attributed to to a tightening of the rules following an email sent around explaining the expectations in uniform.
A spokesman for the school said: “In May this year the principal communicated the school's policy to parents to ensure consistency and we have been continuing to monitor students to ensure they adhere to this policy.
“The current policy was introduced with consultation with parents three years ago and parents are regularly reminded of the expectations with regard to uniform, hairstyles and piercings.
“The academy has continued to work with parents and students to ensure communications are frequent, well detailed and clear of the expectations.
“The policy on nose piercings is clear and students are not permitted to wear them at school and where identified students will be asked to remove them.
“The academy holds a consistent stance here to ensure that all students are treated equally and fairly.
“We appreciate that uniform standards can often be an area of concern for parents but on the whole most students adhere to the guidelines and parents are supportive of the standards we have in place.”