Dad glues himself to school gates after daughter sent home for wearing earring

A furious dad whose teenage daughter was sent home from school for wearing an earring glued both his hands to its front gates in a bizarre protest today.

Geoff Smith, 49, had his demonstration livestreamed on Facebook in a bid to fight for Bobbiemay's "legal right to an education".

The 14-year-old was allegedly sent home from Cockburn John Charles Academy in Belle Isle, Leeds for wearing the discreet, clear earring, which her family says helps "ease her migraines".

So Geoff, a self-employed roofer, covered his hands with glue and a type of plaster called Polyfilla and stuck them to two metal bars outside the school.

His protest lasted around one hour but he eventually pulled his hands free when ordered to do so by police. A layer of skin remained attached to the bars.

During the standoff, the father 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 comes over and asks: "What are you doing?".

Geoff, who works as a roofer, instructs the man to call the fire brigade.

West Yorkshire Police and the fire service attended the scene during lunchtime. When Geoff yanked himself free, he entered the school to talk to senior staff.

Bobbiemay got the piercing in her tragus – the middle part of the outer ear – five weeks ago.

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

Geoff says 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."

Cockburn John Charles Academy, which serves more than 1,300 children, opened in April last year. It is yet to have an OFSTED inspection as a result.

In a statement this week, it 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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