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Georgia teens suspended after piercing tongue in school’s locker room

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Four teenage girls at an Atlanta high school were suspended after they had tongue, navel and lip piercings done by another student in the school’s  gym locker room during school hours at Cross Keys High School. Reon Grinage, 14, told WSB-TV that one of her friends came to Cross Keys High School with a piercing kit that she ordered online.

Grinage told reporters she was approached by the teen. She recalled, “She was like, ‘Do you want to do it?’ I was like, ‘Sure.’ And she had the whole kit and everything.” After agreeing to do it, Grinage got a stud through her tongue, as well as her belly button. The friend with the piercing kit charged each of the girls $5 per piercing.

After one of the teens contracted an infection in her lip, Grinage confessed that “[The piercer] used the same needle on that one girl that she did on the other girl.”

Once one of the girl’s mothers found out about the “piercing party,” she alerted school administrators. The girls were suspended for 10 days each according to school officials.

Grinage’s aunt, Lena Harrison, explained to reporters that she was surprised none of her niece’s teachers noticed her piercing. “She saw four other teachers after this. Not one of them said, ‘Is something going on with you that you can’t talk?'” Harrison told WSB-TV. “How did nobody hear girls in the bathroom getting pierced? Because I know it was quite an adventure.”

School officials admitted to the news station that the locker room was unsupervised at the time of the piercing incident and the policy for such supervision is under review.

According to the Cross Keys High School website, the school has a dress code under which students are expected to “observe high standards of neatness and cleanliness”. “A student’s appearance can positively or negatively impact the climate of a school,” the dress code states.

The dress code does not address any type of piercing, but does refer to jewelry stating,  ” … male and female students may wear conservative jewelry in a reasonable amount.”

The suspended students’ parents are upset with the school’s teachers and officials and felt they are to blame for not watching the teens more closely. Who is really at fault here? The students involved? School officials? Or the parents?