Girl Provides Piercings For Small Fee
POSTED: 5:57 pm PST November 16, 2005
UPDATED: 6:32 pm PST November 16, 2005
LOS ANGELES -- Lidia Mendez said her daughter appeared to be chewing on something as the 14-year-old was leaving for school.
Mendez gave her until the count of three to spit out the object. That's when Mendez learned her daughter's tongue had been pierced in a school restroom.
"She showed me her tongue," Mendez said. "There was something big and hard on the tongue."
Her daughter said a girl in the 11th grade provided her piercing -- and others -- in a restroom at Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies (SOCES) in Tarzana.
Parents said the girl was running a small business from the restroom. The girl used a needle and rubbing alcohol to pierce classmates' tongues for a fee.
Pilar Rodriguez said the same student pierced her 14-year-old daughter's tongue.
"For us, this is really, really bad," Rodriguez said.
Both mothers brought their children to a doctor for examinations that included HIV and hepatitis tests.
"We addressed the issue and appropriate disciplinary action was taken," said SOCES Assistant Principal Mariann Aguilar. "The child wasn't forced. She was a willing participant."
An employee at a tattoo and piercing parlor said such procedures are dangerous because of the tongue's many blood vessels.
No one under age 16 can undergo the procedure without parental consent, according to California law. School administrators said police were involved in the investigation but no one was arrested.