Student allegedly ran piercing operation at Chesterfield middle school

Posted at 10:09 PM, Feb 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-27 23:19:15-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- It's not unusual for students get a pass to go to the bathroom during school hours, but parents and students said what happened inside one Chesterfield school restroom was far from the norm.

Students and parents claim an eighth-grade student was running a piercing operation inside the bathroom.

"Check and make sure they're of age and fill out a consent form," said Wesley Cavendish, the piercing “pro” at Heart and Soul Tattoo on Hull Street in Midlothian, to a colleague as a customer came in Thursday.

Parents said piercings should be performed by professionals, not in a schools.

But parents of Salem Church Middle School eighth graders tell CBS 6 an eighth-grade student had her own piercing space inside the girls’ bathroom at the school and claim more than a dozen stepped up to take advantage of her services.

"No letter, no phone calls, no nothing," said Melissa Hassell, about the Chesterfield Schools’ response.

One eighth grader who asked us to hide her identity told us when it would happen. "During class or an elective, because it's an easy excuse to use the bathroom,” she said.

"I'm like ‘where are they getting the time to do this first off and why haven't we been told?’" said a fuming Hassell.

We reached out to Chesterfield Police. They acknowledge they've heard about the allegations, but say they’re being handled by school administrators.

When we asked Chesterfield Schools for a comment about the alleged piercing incident and if the student in question was punished, a spokesman sent back this reply:

“To protect students' rights to privacy, the Congress of the United States has enacted the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This law prohibits school divisions from releasing certain student information, including whether any disciplinary action has been taken, without the express written permission of parents or guardians."

Back at the Hull Street tattoo parlor, Cavendish pointed out the precautions she always takes. "There's a sterile pouch for each client,” she said. “We use the tool put it back in the autoclave for cleaning then back into a sterile pouch.”

Chesterfield's Health Department says leave the piercings to the pros.

"There's infection, injury and some needles may be nickel-plated. which may cause severe allergic reactions,” pointed out Director Parham Jaberi.

Parents said the girl in question was suspended for 10 days.