A 15-year-old Hindu student has claimed that she was left crying and humiliated after being kicked out of her Catholic school for wearing a tiny nose stud.
Sanya Singhal, from Western Australia, returned to Aranmore Catholic College from the school holidays with her nose pierced as part of her cultural and religious beliefs. But on the first day of Year 10, Sanya claims she was ordered to get rid of the pin from her nostril because it violated her school’s strict uniform policy.
Appearing on Today Tonight, the teenage student claimed she’s not allowed to return to school until she has the piercing removed.
‘[I was] very sad and also embarrassed,’ Sanya said.
Her mother Kalyani said nose pins are a spiritually significant custom for young girls in northern Bharat as it symbolises their transition to womanhood. She explained the nose piercing is part of their Hindu faith, not a fashion statement.
‘It’s not like we’re doing this for fashion, it’s to show respect for the Gods, for what we believe in,’ Kalyani explained.
Under the college’s uniform policy on its website, there’s a dress code banning facial piercings, along with coloured nail polish, short skirts and ‘excessive use of hair products’. The family claimed the school has made exceptions for other religions.
Sanya – who has attended the same college since Year 3 – claimed Islamic girls at her school are allowed to wear their headscarf. ‘They wear headscarves… [the school] allows that,’ she claimed.
Her mother added: ‘Some sort of discretion and understanding of our culture and religion as well, not just one. We take pride of our culture. I love Australia but at the same time, we love to be part of our culture.’
Aranmore principal Declan Tanham told The West Australian, parents are aware of the college’s dress code before enrolling their children. He confirmed Sanya can return to school on the condition she removes the stud.
‘She’s welcome at the school – she just has to abide by the uniform policy agreed to at the point of enrollment,’ he told the publication. ‘They knew this previously, they’re just choosing to be selective about it. If I let one student do it, the other students will say, “Why can’t I?”‘
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Aranmore Catholic College and Catholic Education Western Australia for comment.
(This article first appeared at dailymail.co.uk and has been reproduced in full)
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