Stay-at-home Hatfield pupil in row over earrings
A HEADTEACHER has defended his decision to ban a pupil from lessons after she got her ears pierced. Paul Meredith said he will allow 11-year-old Kirstie Browne back to Onslow St Audrey's School once she has taken her new earrings out. But the girl and her
A HEADTEACHER has defended his decision to ban a pupil from lessons after she got her ears pierced.
Paul Meredith said he will allow 11-year-old Kirstie Browne back to Onslow St Audrey's School once she has taken her new earrings out.
But the girl and her family have refused - and Kirstie has stayed away for a fortnight.
The dispute started when Kirstie, of Stockbreach Road, Hatfield, got her new piercings on March 8.
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Once returning to the Old Rectory Drive establishment Kirstie was asked to abide by the school's strict no jewellery policy and take out her earrings.
Kirstie's angry mum Christine Wood, 35, refused to back down over the school's demand.
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She told the WHT: "On the Monday she went to school and it was fine.
"On the Wednesday the teachers had changed their minds and said she had to take them out or she couldn't stay in school and would be suspended."
The mum-of-four fumed: "They say they have a strict no jewellery policy but other children there have their tongues and belly buttons pierced, so why should Kirstie have to take hers out?
"They cost �30."
Mr Meredith said he would not normally comment on individual pupils, but because Ms Wood had contacted the WHT he would give his view.
He said: "To say Kirstie is excluded or suspended is not the case at all.
"I have told her she cannot be in school until she complies with the rules, which have been in place for eight years.
"We are quite prepared to compromise and at break time and lunchtime she can insert her earrings so the holes do not close.
"Ms Wood says this is not acceptable, but both mum and daughter signed the home school agreement when Kirstie started school."
Mr Meredith added: "As soon as she takes them out she is welcome back to school.
"We are sending work home for her, which is not satisfactory, but we have to adhere to the school rules."
* What do you think? Is the school right in not allowing pupils to attend lessons if they refuse to comply with rules or should pupils be allowed to wear jewellery in school?
Email your thoughts to naiomi.madden @whtimes.co.uk or go online