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A student was put into isolation on his first day back in school because of his botched hair dye, following months in the UK's coronavirus lockdown. Watch him and his mum discuss the matter below:
Jacob Lee Stokes, 15, decided to experiment when he was bored during lockdown, dying his hair pink and blue before washing it out and bleaching it, leaving him with some of his natural ginger hair and some blonde.
His mum, Gemma Leaning, said that Jacob's school, Humberstone Academy, near Grimsby, was wrong to separate him from his classmates after months of learning from home on his own.
Although the school says it is 'empathetic' to the situation, it also insists that families should have taken 'appropriate steps' regarding presentation, given they have had two weeks' warning about pupils returning - despite hairdressers and barbers still being closed.
Ms Leaning, told Grimsby Live that she told the school she had no option and that she only owned a pair of dog clippers herself. The school recommended that she 'shave it off'.
She said: "Jacob is naturally ginger and it won't take to try to dye it one colour. There are loads of students with dyed hair.
"There are some whose hair colour has come back through the roots and looks two-tone. But for some it is acceptable but not for Jacob.
"After all the weeks of home learning and he goes off to school for8.20am and then I get a call at 9.15am on the first day to say he is in isolation for the whole day, it's outrageous.
"I understand the school policy and would normally have taken him to the hairdressers but no one has that option during lockdown.
"I don't know what they expect parents to do. They would not say 'shave your hair' to a girl. Who is to decide what looks nice and what doesn't?
"It is not as if he is a naughty pupil. He is part of the school's Shine Project and is looking at which university he wants to study at. He did all his work in lockdown, set up a mini-enterprise, and is predicted to have good grades."
She said that other students were put into isolation for wearing the wrong shoes or clothes, despite uniform and shoe shops being closed due to lockdown.
Gemma added: "I think there needs to be a bit more common sense and less of a petty approach by schools.
"It has been a struggle for most families with home schooling and trying to get the right clothes for school in time, but to be sent into isolation for the whole day on the first day is petty."
Jacob found being put into isolation so stressful that he missed his second day at school because of anxiety.
He said: "I would like to see schools focus more on how well kids are doing in themselves rather than how they look and how the school looks.
"All schools need to focus on kids' mental health and not just say they are looking after students' mental health. I just want to get back into lessons."
A spokesperson for David Ross Education Trust which runs Humberston Academy said: "Whilst we have high expectations when it comes to uniform, we are also empathetic - so for instance, if a student comes into school without the right uniform, we are able to provide spare items for them to wear.
"We also have clear expectations of appropriate hair styles, including hair dye. Whilst it wouldn't be appropriate for us to provide details on individual cases, parents and students have known for some time now that the first day back at school would be March 8, and we expect families to take appropriate steps meeting our existing policies for a smooth return back to school."
Featured Image Credit: Grimsby Live
Topics: UK News
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