Lip Piercing Comment

PUBLISHED: 14:01 21 September 2010

There are two very telling points attributed to you in the recent Cambs Times article about your daughter's lip piercing.

DEAR MRS Coombs

There are two very telling points attributed to you in the recent Cambs Times article about your daughter’s lip piercing.

Firstly, your comment about piercings in prison: I think you have to ask yourself whether your aspiration is for your daughter to fit in when in prison, or whether you want her to operate successfully in the world outside prison? In the real world people have to abide by rules they may not like or even understand. Teenagers are great rebels. They push themselves and the people they interact with to the limit. What they need to learn in this period of their lives is that they cannot always do what they want, so that as adults they can operate in the real world. People with highly responsible jobs understand this better than most, which is why few brain surgeons and barristers have facial piercings. Piercings would not make the wearer acceptable in their profession. If your daughters ambition is to become second assistant nipple piercer in a tattoo parlour in March, she will not need the qualifications, interpersonal skills or social skills of a barrister, but some of the pupils at Neale Wade will want to aim for these highly responsible and well paid jobs, and that’s why the school needs these sort of rules. Surely you want your daughter to do the best she can? That means learning how to operate at all levels of society with all sorts of people; that means obeying the rules that apply in her current situation. Your job is to help her to understand this by supporting the school.

Secondly you say that the school should put more effort into bullying issues. Do you know how to stop bullying? Teenagers will bully each other because they are trying to find their place in society. The way to minimise bullying is for it to become unacceptable to the school community as a whole. That means each individual needs to sign up to the values and aspirations of the school. In this case I imagine that the school feel it is a safer, more attractive place with a better learning environment when pupils do not have facial piercings and they wear the uniform. This will lead to a common identity and a common pride in the school. This will help stamp out bullying, because those who do not accept the rules on bullying will be putting themselves outside the school community. So you actions to undermine the school and its rules are contributing to bullying – in fact they sound rather like bullying to me. If you want the best for your daughter, please support the school in its efforts to educate the children of March to achieve their potential and to make March a better place to live. She can have all the piercings she wants when she has left school.

I should add that I have lived in March for over 20 years and I have no connection with Neale Wade. My children did not go to Neale Wade, although I did take my son out of one junior school that I though was failing him. Their secondary school had much stricter rules than Neale Wade and they challenged the rules, all teenagers do, but five years after leaving school they stay in touch with their teachers because they appreciate the education they had, which went well beyond passing a few exams.

In conclusion, please think twice before continuing this campaign. It is not in your daughters best interests. Please support the school and encourage your daughter to do the same. If after sober reflection you feel that you do not share the values of the school, you should look for another school just like I did, if you think it is the best way to prepare your daughter to be a responsible adult. But do not expect the school to change to suit you.

Via e-mail

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