Aranmore Catholic College has debarred Hindu girl Sanya Singhal from attending classes at the institution due to a tiny nose stud, reports The West.
Sanya’s mother said that the nose piercing was a cultural-religious custom which marked the celebration of transition to womanhood.
“They have exceptions for the Islamic girls by allowing them to wear their headscarf, but we were told our cultural needs are not relevant,” said Ms Singhal.
The uniform and grooming guidelines of the school allow students to wear “ fine metal neck chain bearing a Christian symbol” along with a ‘fine metal bracelet’ and ‘simple flat ring’ along with earrings. Sanya, a student of the school since Grade 3, said that the pin’s spiritual significance meant it was similar to wearing a cross on a necklace.
Notably, the school guidelines also include a provision for exceptions. The guidelines state that students with a valid reason can present a note of explanation to school signed by a parent, but when Singhal showed a note from her mother to her teachers, which explained that the stud could not be removed for one year due to religious reasons, she was told that she could only attend classes after removing it.
Furthermore, when the girl’s mother requested Principal Declan Tanham to allow her daughter to attend classes after covering the pin with a bandaid, she was told that she would have to change schools if she refused to remove it.
“If she takes it out she’s welcome, she’s a good student,” the principal said, adding that Aranmore was the most multi-cultural school in Perth and had many Hindu students without a nose piercing.