Do you enjoy using authentic materials in class with your English learners?
Do your students have facial piercings? Do any of your fellow teachers? Should a school’s dress code include rules about piercings and body art? Why not ask your own students to weigh in on this issue?
This Huffington Post article describes a lawsuit involving a teenage girl and the North Carolina School Board. Before discussing the case, ask your students about the dress code at their school. Do they agree with it? Ask them about piercings and tattoos. Do they think schools should have the right to dictate how the students look? Then read the short news piece, North Carolina School Board Votes to Allow Facial Piercings After Lawsuit. You can print it and have the students read it, or read it out loud to them for listening practice. For lower level learners, simply summarize the main points. After introducing the case, discuss the issue. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- Should students be allowed to have nose rings?
- Should there be an age restriction for piercings?
- Is religion a good enough reason to make an exception to a rule?
- Should students be allowed to have tattoos showing at school?
- Do you think differently of people who have piercings or other body art?
- Do you think people should wear their piercings to a job interview or workplace?
- How do you feel about school dress codes?
“Engaging in a lengthy and costly lawsuit would have directed much needed funding away from our classrooms.”
Superintendent, Ed Croom
Our Discussion Starters section features a full-length lesson on Body Piercing. If your students enjoyed this topic, be sure to print it out for class.
Go to Body Piercing Lesson
Go to Tattoos Lesson
Go to School Uniforms Lesson
While our Something to Talk About suggestions are useful for getting your students involved in a group or pair discussion or debate, the topics, articles, and videos can also be used if you are looking for something for your students to blog/Skype/or write an opinion essay about. After this discussion, you could also have your students come up with their own school dress code. They can be serious about it or have fun with it. Have your students work in pairs or groups. They can present their dress codes and vote on the best one.