Facehook: Raising Student Stud Stakes

16Apr11

Stud -noun  A boss, knob, nailhead, or other protuberance projecting from a surface or part, especially as an ornament.” Dictionary

“We’re talking a stud the size of an old metal pin and when you’re talking that level of invisibility and trying to draw a line it’s a case of thinking maybe it’s time for a shift.” 
Stella Bond, Acting Principal, New Plymouth Girls’ High School*

Is a teacher who picks up on a pupil’s nasal piercing just a nosey parker?

The Leadership Group of New Plymouth Girls’ High School has issued an edict allowing facial piercings as part of the school uniform, permitting one lip and one nose piercing per pupil (or should that be per student?).

“If we’re spending too much time on something, we need to decide if it’s worth it. We think there’s much more significant things to be dealing with.” said Mrs Bond.

Well, of course, that’s quite true, though I can imagine my old principal, the late Sir Terence McCombs, giving Stella a celestially piercing look when she said that.

Policing school uniforms has always been one of the least attractive aspects of secondary teaching.  In my days teaching in a co-ed school 40 years ago it was always a challenge for duty teachers to keep girls skirts down and boys trousers up  in the face of the adolescent impulse to reverse the sartorial dicta, especially near the bikesheds.

The NPGHS rule change had apparently been discussed at school for years and the final decision was made by the school leadership group consisting of the principal and four deputy principals including Mrs Bond. The decision was signed off by the board of trustees chairperson, but the leadership group didn’t even pay lip service to involving staff in the stud decision: they were not consulted.

Some penetrating comments were evinced from 15-year-old student MJ Hodson, who said that piercings are a fashion statement and personal to her: “I think it’s great Girls’ High is allowing it because it means you can express your individuality…I got told to take out my lip piercings by school and that was $60 worth of wasted money.” *

Others may disagree and feel that there are other non-metallic ways of expressing one’s individuality besides fickle fashion faceware.

Miss Hodson says she accepts schools have to draw a line and realises an unlimited amount of facial piercings will never be allowed. “No-one has just one stud in each ear anymore, that’s just not what’s happening. I think they should allow up to three piercings on the face.”

This is a long way short of the world record for facial piercings held by Cuban Luis Antonio Aguero. As the video clip below*  this  human pincushion really lifts the aspirational holistic bar. 

 But there is still a bit of an issue about where to draw the moving metallic Maginot Line. Perhaps the Leadership Group in its exhaustive and longwinded determination should have made a pre-emptive blitzkrieg strike by making a minimum of three facial piercings per student compulsory.  The light metal would have been off their faces by lunchtime if lip syncing was mandated for all.

This is all just the tip of the cyborg. Anyone who wants multiple metal-filled facial piercings should be compulsorily microchipped with artificial intelligence implants to compensate for the obvious lack of grey matter indicated by their fashion preferences.  Goodbye Mrs Chips-Hello Microchips. 

Meanwhile, in old Plymouth and other cities in the UK and US there is a military offensive in some tough school districts to employ as teachers  former military personnel, predominatly but not exclusively male, after pressure cooked re-training.

Whatever the merits of this uniform approach to instilling a bit of discipline among some fairly feral teenagers, the increasing likelihood of a new live war or two lifts  the chances of  graduates  who enter military service acquiring some real body shrapnel without  any artificial numerical limits.

Some will even qualify for a free body bag- plus a free return trip home.

 *Blinks
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/4885232/Facial-piercings-now-part-of-school-uniform  
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/4890765/Call-for-an-age-limit-on-piercing 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w85xIgf9rP4  Vid Luis Antonio Aguero in Havana in 2001. He has (had?) the Guinness World Record for the number of piercings on his face.

 #Lyall Lukey 16 Apr 2011
http://www.lukey.co.nz/  http://www.smartnet.co.nz
http://lukeytraining.wordpress.com/ My other (bit more serious) blog

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