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Piercing spikes job chances

Q: I had an interview recently for a Year 4 job and it went really well. But the head contacted me afterwards and said she'd love to offer me the job, but added: "I think the governors and parents would have a problem with your tongue piercing. Would you take it out?" She kindly gave me five minutes to think about it! When I called her back, I asked would she compromise and let me wear a clear bar and if any comments were made I would take it out then. I explained that it hadn't caused any problems in the past and that children forget about it as quickly as they spot it. She quickly altered her tone and said: "Well, if that's your attitude then I don't think this jobschool is right for you! It was a good interview, thank you, goodbye." I was gobsmacked, and I am now very angry. Can you be refused a job because of a piercing? Isn't it discrimination of some kind? Should I call her back and ask her for more of an explanation?

A: I'm surprised that you went to an interview with your tongue piercing in! First impressions count for so much and the headteacher's point of view seems perfectly understandable and reasonable. I'm more worried at your reaction because it suggests that you don't quite understand your position as a professional and how people see you. While some teachers have tattoos and body piercings, most would wait until they'd proved themselves as a great teacher before risking their exposure. I should take yours out for future interviews.

SARA BUBB

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