Teen can keep her piercing at school

Ariana Iacono

June 6, 2011 3:54:58 PM PDT
Johnston County Schools said Monday it won't continue to fight a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Clayton High School student by the ACLU, who claims a nose piercing is part of her religion.

In October, a judge ruled Ariana Iacono is a member of the Church of Body Modification and has a constitutional right to wear her nose piercing to school in order to freely exercise her religion.

In a statement Monday, the school board said it strongly disagrees with the judge's decision, but felt it was better to "resolve this matter out of court rather than pursue a lengthy process of hearings, depositions, and likely appeals."

As part of the settlement agreement, the Johnston County Board of Education agreed to amend parts of its dress code policy. Under the new policy, school officials won't determine which practices are "central to religious doctrine" and which are not, and students will be given more leeway in demonstrating that their religious beliefs are sincere.

Click here to view the consent order filed by the judge.

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