Toronto

Student faces school choice over piercing

A student at one of Toronto's Catholic high schools might have to find another school next year because a piercing she has is against the school's dress code.

A student at one of Toronto's Catholic high schools might have to find another school next year after getting a piercing, which against the dress code.

Kortney Knight says she won't sign a dress code contract with Notre Dame High School because it won't permit her to have piercings.

Knight got her eyebrow pierced in November, knowing it was against school rules but felt she would be allowed to keep it.

"I felt that, like, if no one's getting in trouble for them why can't I have one as well?" she said.

The school's principal, Oksana Kawun, said students are making a conscious decision when they attend Notre Dame.

"To come to Notre Dame is a choice," said Kawun, "but with that choice comes an understanding that there are rules."

Kortney argues that code is not enforced consistently and that she's being singled out.

"I want to look different. I want to be different. I want to be unique," she said.

School is a community: principal

But the principal disagrees.

"It's not about quashing individual expressionism, it is simply ... the need to comply. We are a school community with a school uniform." 

The dress code is now a contract that students must sign in order to attend the school.  If they choose not to sign they will not be enrolled next year.

Knight is refusing to sign and her mother understands her decision. 

"I'd rather her have a piercing and colour her hair than be experimenting with other things," said Alisha Warner-Knight.

"We don't want to lose any of our students but  ... adhering to dress code is part of the learning process," said Kawun.

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