Student claims nose stud is religious symbol

JOHNSTON COUNTY (WTVD) — A fight over religious freedom is brewing in the Johnston County school system. A student at Clayton High School says she’s practicing her faith by wearing a nose stud.

But that goes against school policy and she’s been suspended.

Freshman Ariana Iacono told ABC11 she belongs to the Church of Body Modification.

The church says members reserve the right to alter their bodies for spiritual and other reasons.

“We believe that the mind body soul are all one entity and that by modifying the body, you can bring the mind and soul into harmony,” explained Church of Body Modification minister Richard Ivey in an interview with ABC11.

Ivey says the church is a federally accredited religion, and Ariana and her mother Nikki Iacono are members.

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