indian american suspended over nosering

A few weeks back in Salt Lake City, a Indian American junior high student was suspended for wearing a nose ring -- a piercing she received in honor of Diwali, the "Festival of Lights" -- an action her mother suspects was motivated by race: Bountiful student removes nose stud after school suspension.

Though not strictly a religious rite, the piercing was Suzannah Pabla's way of honoring and feeling closer to her Indian heritage. Her father is from India and a practicing Sikh. However, the nose ring -- a small, jeweled stud -- did not go over well at school. She was suspended until she agreed to remove it.

She wasn't doing it to rebel, though I can't imagine the sentiment means much to the school. Her mother kind of lays it down: "It's not just the nose ring. I'm starting to think it's because she's brown" She also says her older son has endured racial slurs at school.

A news account of Suzannah's experience caught the attention of Rajan Zed, a regular contributor to the Washington Post's interfaith blog "On Faith," and chairman of the Indo-American Leadership Confederation. Zed is calling upon the school to amend its dress code, and publicly apologize to Suzannah and her family.

angry archive