Unsplash | Tamara Bellis

Former Claire's Employee Says She Was Told To Pierce Children's Ears Against Their Will

For many children, getting their ears pierced is a rite of passage and an exciting milestone.

One of the most popular places to get ear piercings is Claire's. However, one former employee has come forward in a troubling Facebook post after she said she was told to pierce the ears of non-consenting children.

Since speaking out, many people are rethinking this company's stance on ear piercings.

Raylene Marks is a former Claire's employee from Alberta, Canada.

Facebook | Raylene Marks

She recently wrote and shared a public Facebook post called, "An Open Letter To Claire's Corporate" that has sparked a debate on children getting their ears pierced.

As an employee, Raylene pieced many children's ears.

However, she said she had a few experiences that made her question whether she was doing the right thing.

"...piercings where the children resisted heavily, were pressured and intimidated by the parents into settling down, and the children weren't happy with what had happened even after the earrings were in place and the standard lollipop had been dispensed," she wrote.

She finally reached a breaking point during one specifically problematic incident.

A seven-year-old girl who came in with her mom cried and pleaded with the staff not to pierce her ears.

" She expressed that she didn't want us touching her, that we were standing too close, that she was feeling uncomfortable," wrote Raylene.

Raylene told her co-worker that she wouldn't participate in the piercing.


Finally, the girl's mother agreed to take her home and not go through with the procedure.

The next day, Raylene's manager asked her about what happened.

Getty Images | Nick Dolding

Even though Raylene said the girl was crying and refusing the piercing, which was why she couldn't do it, her manager said that if the mom wanted the piercing, as an employee Raylene had "no choice" but to comply.

Surprised, Raylene asked her manager for clarification.

Getty Images

"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?" asked Raylene.

Her manager responded, "Yes, you do the piercing."


According to Claire's corporate policy on piercings, they, "reserve the right to refuse an ear piercing if a successful one cannot be done.”

This vague policy essentially says that even if the child is protesting, as long as it doesn't interfere with the piercing process, it will still be done.

Even the District Sales Manager of Raylene's store confirmed that they will restrain children to do a piercing.

"Children can be held down and pierced. Children do not have a voice in the piercing process. The associate doing the piercing has no right to refuse to shoot metal through the ears of a child who begs not to be touched," Raylene wrote.

This troubling policy ultimately led to Raylene leaving her position at the store.

She's speaking out now because she's worried about what kind of message this sends children who don't want to be touched but are forced into piercings.

Raylene hopes that by speaking out, Claire's will review and change its policy on ear piercings.

"If you are a company that cares about kids, I implore you to consider changing this policy that blatantly ignores every child who vocally protests, cries, shows obvious signs of distress or is physically restrained by their alleged guardian while they sob and beg to be released," she said.

What do you think? Should Claire's change its policy on ear piercings?