A federal district court judge has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) requiring school officials to readmit a student who had been suspended for wearing a nose stud that she says is part of her religion. The student is a member of the non-theistic Church of Body Modification. “Members of the church practice ancient and modem body modification rituals-including piercing, scarring, tattooing, and suspensions-through which they strengthen the connection between their bodies, minds, and souls.”
The student had been suspended under the school system’s ban on facial piercings except for those based on religious beliefs. The court held that the student would suffer irreparable harm in the form of a loss of her Free Exercise rights under the First Amendment without the TRO. The judge barred school officials from taking further disciplinary action against the student for her piercing. A hearing is scheduled for November 3, 2010. For more information please click here, and for the full decision please click here.