Former Claire's employee quits over child ear piercing

A former employee of popular preteen store Claire's has quit because she didn't feel comfortable piercing a child's ears.

In an open letter to Claire's posted on Facebook, Raylene Marks says she's pierced a lot of children's ears, all were excited about the procedure.

Marks says last week a seven year old girl came in with her mother to get her ears pierced at the location in Edmonton, Alberta.

The employees were to pierce both ears at the same time.

She says the child pleaded and sobbed for thirty minutes not to get her ears pierced.

In the post, Marks says:

This child was articulate, smart, and well aware of herself and her body. She expressed that she didn't want us touching her, that we were standing too close, that she was feeling uncomfortable. She made it clear she no longer wanted to get her ears pierced. She begged, over and over again, for Mom to please, just take her home. That child's message was loud and clear to me: Do not touch my body, do not pierce my ears, I do not want to be here.

Marks told the other piercer she wouldn't take part, and mother gave up and brought the daughter home.

She says she was told the following day that she was told by management that, under any circumstances, she must perform the ear piercing if that's what the parent wants.

So I brought up the worst scenario I could think of. I wanted to know how far we were supposed to take this policy of piercing non-consenting children. "So if a mother is physically restraining her daughter, holding her down and saying, 'DO IT,' while that little girl cries and asks me not to, do I do the piercing?" My manager did not hesitate to respond, "Yes, you do the piercing."

She says she was faced with the choice of facing disciplinary actions the next time she refused to pierce the ears of children who did not want them done, or leave on her own terms.

The full post is below: