Father glues himself to school gates in bizarre protest after his daughter, 14, is sent home from class for wearing an earring that ‘stops her getting migraines’
- Bobbiemay Smith, 14, was sent home from school for wearing the stud earring
- Her father Geoff claims the earring stops her suffering from agonising migraines
- Daith piercings are said to replicate acupuncture and help with pain
- He attached his hands to railings outside his daughter’s school in Leeds
The dad of a teenage girl ‘excluded’ from school for wearing an earring mounted a bizarre protest today – after he glued both his hands to its front gates.
Irate Geoff Smith, 49, says his daughter Bobbiemay, 14, was sent home after getting a piercing that he claims stops her getting agonising migraines.
In protest against the decision Geoff today (Fri) covered his hands with glue and a type of expansion foam then stuck them to two metal bars outside the school.
Geoff Smith stuck his hands to the railings of his daughter’s school in Leeds. Bobbymay Smith was excluded after teachers spotted her pain relieving earring
Bobbiemay Smith (pictured) has been told by teachers that she can’t go back to regular classes until the stud is taken out
The so-called Daith piercings see a small hole created in the innermost cartilage fold of the ear in an attempt to replicate acupuncture
Police were called to the scene of today’s protest after Mr Smith attached himself to the gate
He staged his protest for around an hour at lunchtime today before he pulled both his hands free from the gates when ordered to by police who were called.
During the protest, which was streamed on Facebook, He said: ‘I have superglued myself to the gate.
‘My daughter has got a legal right to an education.
‘The superglue is burning my hands at the minute… but I would put myself through any pain so my daughter can live life without pain.’
After less than a minute a worker from the school, Cockburn John Charles Academy in Leeds, West Yorkshire, comes over and asks, ‘what are you doing?’.
Mr Smith, who works as a roofer, then instructs the man to call the fire brigade.
Her father Geoff Smith (left, with Bobbiemay) claims the earring is essential and Bobbiemay (right) hasn’t had a migraine since getting the piercing five weeks ago
Police and fire service personnel attended the scene.
Luckily Mr Smith was able to pull his hands away on his own, although a layer of skin did remain attached to the bars.
Police opted not to arrest him and Mr Smith then entered the school to have a meeting with senior staff.
Bobbiemay got the piercing in her tragus – the middle part of the outer ear – five weeks ago.
The uniform policy at Cockburn John Charles Academy
Visible facial, tongue and body piercings and other items of jewellery (ie rings) are NOT permitted. Covering of plasters will not be acceptable.
No excessive make up/false eyelashes
No Caps, hats, coats, jackets and hoodies
No Non uniform tops and jumpers
Students arriving with nail varnish, false nails, acrylics will instantly be referred to seculsion.
Only natural nails are permissable.
No coloured socks (only plain black socks).
Only plain back leather type shoes are acceptable without logos.
Pumps or any other inappropriate footwear are not permissable.
Chelsea/ankle boot and boots that are visible either outside or inside trousers will lead to seclusion.
Inappropriate clothing accessories, headbands etc will be confiscated.
Alternative medicine proponents argue some ear piercings stimulate nerves under the skin and muscle tissues, thereby producing pain-relieving substances, such as endorphins.
Mr Smith said the piece of jewellery is not a fashion statement and that he bought the smallest, most inconspicuous stud he could to avoid it being an issue at school.
Speaking yesterday ( he said: ‘It’s awful for a school to deprive a child of their education for something so minor.
‘We tried everything to stop Bobbiemay’s migraines – she can be in agonising pain for a week at a time with them.
‘But she hasn’t had one since getting the piercing five weeks ago. The piercing is working, it’s not coming out.’
He added: ‘Bobbiemay was doing really well at that school so that’s where I want her go go back to.
‘She’s missed a lot of school now and it’s not fair. She’s an intelligent child and they have had no other issues with her until now.’
In a statement released yesterday, a school spokesman said: ‘We would like to make it clear Bobbiemay Smith has not been excluded from the academy.
‘She is welcome back at any time, as long as the earring is removed. Students and parents are aware of our clear uniform policy which is applied consistently.
‘In this particular case, medical evidence or a doctor’s note has not been provided to suggest exceptional circumstances.
‘At all times, our focus is on Bobbiemay’s welfare and best interests and we hope to see her return to the academy as soon as possible.’
HOW CAN ‘DAITH’ PIERCINGS HELP RELIEVE A MIGRAINE?
The theory that ‘daith’ piercings help ease migraines is based on the idea that it is the same pressure point as that targeted by acupuncturists to relieve chronic headaches
The theory goes that ‘daith’ piercings relieve migraines, in a similar way to how acupuncture is used to help ease symptoms.
Acupuncture, a therapy which began in China more than 2,000 years ago, involves placing fine needles at specific pressure points on the body’s surface.
The needles are then manipulated by a acupuncturist, either manually or electrically.
It causes the blood vessels around the needle to open up and become wider, allowing for an increase in blood flow to the tissues in the immediate area.
A report published in 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine analysed nearly 18,000 patients and doctors from eight universities and hospitals in the UK, US and Germany.
The results showed in conditions including chronic headache, acupuncture was twice as effective as the drugs and exercise recommended by most doctors.
The Migraine Relief Center recognises the link, albeit a unproven one, between ‘daith’ piercings and easing migraine symptoms.
‘The principle is that the piercing mimics acupuncture by hitting a pressure point, which relieves the pressure in the patient’s head,’ a blog on the website states.
‘By having it done on the same side as most migraines occur, it’s thought to help reduce the incidence of migraines in the area.’
But, it cautions: ‘At this point, the effect of daith piercings on migraine has not been officially studied so it’s difficult to determine whether there’s any truth to the claims or not.’