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Dad of girl 'excluded' for earring that stops migraines glues himself to school

The dad of a teenage girl ‘excluded’ for wearing an earring to help with her migraines has staged a protest at her school.

Geoff Smith, 49, glued himself to the front gates of Cockburn John Charles Academy in Leeds, West Yorks, after his daughter Bobbiemay, 14, was sent home by teachers.

The teenager got the piercing in her tragus five weeks ago and her dad believes it is already ‘working’ to improve her migraines.

During his protest, which took place for an hour at lunchtime today, Geoff streamed himself live on Facebook.

He told his audience: ‘I have super-glued 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.’

Geoff, a roofer, said he had covered his hands with glue and a type of plaster called Polyfilla before holding onto two metal bars outside the school.

After less than a minute, a worker from the school came over and asked him: ‘What are you doing?’

The fire service and police were then called to the scene and helped Geoff to remove his hands – although a layer of skin remained on the bars.

Officers chose not to arrest him and he was later called into the school to have a meeting with senior staff.


Bobbiemay got the ear piercing as a last bid to try and stop her migraines, which Geoff said she suffers from regularly.

Alternative medicine proponents argue some ear piercings stimulate nerves under the skin and muscle tissues, thereby producing pain-relieving substances, such as endorphins.

Geoff 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.’

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