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Pupils have been waiting a long time to return to school, but one boy's chance to catch up with his friends didn't last long - he was put into isolation for the haircut he had received from his mum in lockdown.
Lealan Hague, a Year 9 pupil at Exmouth Community College, lasted just 45 minutes on his first morning back on Tuesday, before being pulled up by his teacher and told his haircut was 'extreme and too short'.
His furious mum Kirsty told Devon Live: "Lealan badly needed a haircut, as do many, so we cut his hair short because he really suffers from itching with longer hair.
"Since Lealan was about five he has always had his hair fully shaved, but when he started at Exmouth Community College he was not allowed to do that any more."
The angry mum pointed to a broken clipper blade as to the reason why he had to get a grade zero on his back and sides, and lambasted the school for not being more lenient.
She added: "They didn't call me until 3.20pm on Tuesday to inform me Lealan had been put in isolation and said it will happen all week, purely because his hair is too short."
"On his first day back he said he had no break times, no lunch time and had to stay in the room all day because of his haircut. They got his lunch from the canteen for him as he wasn't allowed to leave the room.
"When he wanted to go to the toilet, he was told he would have to wait until everyone was in class so that they would not see his haircut that is deemed unsuitable for school."
Kirsty went on to say: "It's hard enough for children and everyone at the moment - they don't need this on top. He has been in isolation since last March and we haven't let him go out much or meet his friends.
"He's literally been at home."
Thankfully for both Lealan and his mum, the 'week-long' isolation only lasted for the rest of the day, and by Wednesday he was back in class with his pals.
Responding to the issue, Andrew Davis, principal at Exmouth Community College, said: "As you would expect, the college has high standards around the appearance of our students. This includes the appropriate wearing of uniform, jewellery and haircuts."
He continued: "During lockdown we are aware that some students find it difficult to have an appropriate haircut and so we have modified our normal standards to accommodate such issues.
"In this particular case, it was a very extreme haircut and so we did provide alternative onsite learning while we investigated the circumstances.
"Within a short space of time those circumstances were explained to us and the student was allowed to return to his lessons as normal and no further action will be taken."
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