Mum Says Sons Were Banned From School Playground For 'Extreme Haircuts'
A mum claims her sons were stopped from enjoying their playtime at school because their school deemed that they had 'extreme haircuts'.
Twenty-eight-year-old Claire Mitchell, from Essex, said that her sons Declan and Alfiee-Joe, who are eight and nine respectively, were stopped from going onto the playground at Silver End Academy near Braintree due to their inappropriate hairstyles.
Initially, she claims the school rang her about Alfiee's haircut, but once she pointed out that her other son also had the same style, they banned him too.
She explained to Essex Live: "I got the phone call Monday at 2.30pm saying that Alfiee will be kept off the playground until his hair grows back because his hair is extreme.
"Literally when she rang me, she said it's nothing to do with his behaviour, we are going to have to take them off the playground.
"I said 'what about my other son?' and they said 'oh we hadn't noticed'. I kind of dropped him in it."
The two boys only started at the school in May and had been settling well until this setback. Now, his mum claims that Alfiee is anxious and confused.
She continued: "He had a brilliant week, he was really good in class -the teacher told us how good he had been.
"We took them for a treat and then for a haircut. Then on Monday he is pulled out of the playground.
"He has social anxiety. I do not know how long it will take - it takes roughly four or six weeks to grow back.
"If they are going to keep him in that long he's going to be scaling the walls. It's just a bit over the top.
"Alfiee stayed up until 11.30pm last night worrying because he didn't want to go to school. He sits and worries about things.
"My other son - he is a model student - is devastated he is now being punished for a haircut."
Looking at the style, which is short on the sides and longer on top, it's quite hard to see the problem. Claire added that they'd had the cuts for a bit now, and even the teachers had said they looked nice.
Claire is baffled by the school's decision. She said: "I have had parents say their kids have the same hair style, my barber shaved a parting into it so it didn't go in their faces.
"The policy doesn't specify what an extreme haircut is, it says no decorative designs.
"They asked for designs but I said no - I don't see the problem with a parting.
"I do not want to send them to school looking scruffy, I want them to represent the school and look smart.
"If it was going to distract other children then they are happy with them in the classroom, so they have to stay off the playground?"
She went on: "I'm now having the pick them up at lunch time and break time. I also have a six-month-old and a house and things to do.
"Taking them out at lunch time and break time they feel like they are being punished for their hairstyle.
"I said, 'I will bring you home and you can have your lunch and have a charge around the garden'. I can't do it every day though, I have a baby.
"My little girl is autistic and now she wants to come home because her brothers are.
"There are kids with the same haircuts on the website.
"I have been trying to speak to them they are just passing messages through the office.
"I said this doesn't specify the designs in the hair and that's just the parting in the hair it's not attention-seeking.
"I said I didn't realise, I know about the designs. It's been a nightmare."
As for the school, headteacher Simon Webb said: "Whenever we have new parents come into any one of our academies we take the parents through the home school agreement.
"It's a set of statements which we believe are agreed between the home and school in terms of uniform, behaviour and general support the school can offer parents and advise parents. We are open to anyone coming in with any concerns and any worries.
"That school agreement is signed by parents before children arrive and 99 to 100% of the time we never have to refer to that. I think in this case the parents have chosen to take their boys and have their hairs cut in a way which is not appropriate to the academy and makes the boys stand out more than any normal haircut.
"This isn't the first time this has happened. Rather than ask the children to stay off school like most secondary schools would, we take the children off the playground and sit in the library or a classroom with an adult who can supervise them. In this way they are safe and not punished."
Featured Image Credit: Essex Live