Schoolgirl 'Gutted' After Being Told To Change Hairstyle
A dad has hit out after his daughter's school told her she would have to remove her white braided hair extensions - saying she had chosen the style to honour her Jamaican heritage.
Lily Rann, 12, was told she would have to stay in isolation if she didn't change her hairstyle after returning from a family holiday in Cyprus.
The year eight pupil was told by teacher that the extensions would have to go as they breach the school's policy of no unnatural hair colours.
Dad Chris said Lily is proud of her roots, with her great-grandfather thought to be the first black miner in her home town of Midsomer Norton in Somerset - but has agreed to remove the synthetic hair so she can go back to her lessons.
However, the dad is unhappy with the school's stance on the issue.
He said: "It's absolutely mad - there are people dying in this pandemic. There are more important things to be doing.
"Lily has had a really tough time with mental health over lockdown so we don't want her in isolation.
"People have messaged us saying: 'What's her hair got to do with her learning?' It's discrimination. I think they are discriminating against her.
"I really like the hairstyle. They said it was unacceptable. I think it's more than acceptable."
Chris, 32, said he informed the school of the new style before she went back last week and says they asked to see a photo.
He didn't send a photo but when she went in, she was told she would have to go into isolation unless she changed her hair.
Chris and his partner and Lily's mum Lydia Grubb had a meeting with the school where they reiterated their stance.
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He added: "The school said they wouldn't have her in properly but in isolation because of it.
"They said the extensions need to be dyed or removed. They did say they didn't have a problem with the braids, which are essentially plaits.
"Lily's absolutely gutted. She even asked for bright colours in Cyprus and I said: 'No, the school won't let you have that'.
"It's just absolutely ridiculous - its not an eyesore. White is a natural colour.
"All that will happen is Lily's friends will say 'nice hair' on the first day and then it will be old news and forgotten about."
A spokesperson for Norton Hill School said: "We have not refused entry into school for the pupil in question.
"This is a great shame, as the pupil in question has already missed a great deal of schooling following a family holiday in the first 2 weeks of term.
"I am hopeful that the parents will support us in school to maintain standards and ensure that we can be focused on the education of children rather than their uniform."
Head teacher Gordon Green told the Daily Mail: "All we've asked is that they remove the white synthetic hair, it's nothing to do with discrimination or racism or anything like that all.
"I was disgusted at just the idea in being linked in any way to racism.
"Like all schools we have uniform policies and one of the things is the extreme hair styles where you've got multiple colours of hair, variation of length and hair dyes that are outside the national range of colours.
"We were not in any way saying anything about the braids. We would do that for anyone in the school."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS
Topics: UK News