“Girl Pleaded And Sobbed Not To Be Pierced”


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A Claire’s employee alleges the company place pressure on employees to pierce children without consent.

Well-known high street chain, Claire’s; renowned for piercing children’s ears, is reviewing its consent policy after an employee said that she was told to pierce a child’s ears without their consent.

Raylene Marks states that her manager told her to pierce a 7-year-old’s ears despite the girl clearly not wanting her ears pierced. The girl, who was with her mother ended up leaving without her ears pierced, however, Ms Marks still decided to quit over her manager’s response.

“The girl pleaded and sobbed for 30 minutes not to be pierced. Despite Mom saying, ‘Honey, we can go home whenever you want’ she was not letting her daughter go home,” Ms Marks said in an open letter she wrote on Facebook to Claire’s.

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“I’m inclined to respect a child’s right to say, ‘NO’, to any adult forcing any kind of non-medical contact on them, so I told the other piercer I wouldn’t be part of the ear piercing for this girl.”

The following day, when Ms Marks’ manager asked her about the incident, she said that if the mother had insisted, she would have refused to carry out the piercing.

“You would have had no choice but to do it,” she says her manager told her.

Claire’s said in an official response that they were investigating the matter and “reviewing the policy to ensure that the intent is clear”.

“Claire’s has been piercing ears for more than 40 years, and has pierced over 100 million ears. Customer well-being is our main priority, and we ensure that any child piercing we do is carried out with the best care in consultation with, and with the agreement of the legal guardian,” the spokesperson wrote.

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  1. Marths Williams

    I work for a company that pierce children’s ears. 9 times out of 10 it’s the parents who want it done. When the child decides they don’t want it start crying and having fits the parents say go ahead do it we’ll hold then down. It is our policy you can not restrain a child to do it even if the parent say go ahead. I tell them we can not force the child if they don’t want it done. You’d be surprised how many parents will try to get you to go ahead do it. Myself I think if you spend more than 20 minutes trying to talk the child into it you’ve spent too much time on that one child. Whole piercing should not take that long even with preparation time.

  2. Isaac

    It is MASSIVELY illegal to pierce a child’s ears without their consent. It’s assault by wounding (ABH). Both the parent and the piercer would be liable. It would also result in a child protection investigation and information would be shared with social services. The exception is babies (oddly). Although I would argue (convincingly in court) that crying prior to the procedure constitutes an enforceable lack of consent.

  3. Sean

    The survey above needs another answer. There is no “should” regardless of age. I wouldn’t even be asking the question if they want it done. Let the child come to you when they want it they’ll ask.

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