Europe

Boy, 14, sent home from school for pink hair dyed as 'lockdown pick me up'

A teenager was sent home on his first day back at school after months of lockdown because his hair broke uniform rules.

Billy Chapman, 14, had barely started the day at Writhlington School in Radstock, Somerset, on Friday when his mother Emma received a phone call asking her to attend a meeting with teachers. Billy had coloured his hair pink during the coronavirus lockdown as a ‘pick me up’, his mum said.

Emma said husband Chad, an NHS worker at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, dyed Billy’s hair in May to cheer him up as he was feeling anxious due to the pandemic and had barely left the house.

She said: ‘We just allowed it as a bit of fun this summer – our youngest girl also had her hair dip dyed. They couldn’t go to festivals or see friends so we did this to cheer them up.

‘I’m just trying to be a good mother and help my kids through this tough time. And now, instead of being in school learning, which is the most important thing, he’s at home.’

Mum-of-three Emma said she is ‘livid’ that the school picked up on the colour of Billy’s hair and argued that teachers should be focussing on the months of lessons he has missed instead.

She said her meeting with the deputy head and head of year left her feeling ‘devastated’ and at a ‘stalemate’ with the school.

Emma added: ‘I just felt it could have been handled so much better. Surely this out of any year is the year for some kindness.

‘Billy was really shocked to see me getting so upset, he tried to make me
feel better because that’s the kind of boy he is. I took him home with me after the meeting because it went so badly.

‘This was just the completely wrong way to start back, it could have been a pleasant conversation.’

Billy had been to a hairdresser before starting back at school to cut off most of the colour from his hair, but his fringe remains pink.

Emma argued: ‘The ridiculous thing is that we all do little adjustments to our
appearance, why should this matter. It’s growing out, after all, it just didn’t grow out fast enough.’

Headteacher Alun Williams said that Billy has not been formally excluded and that the purpose of the meeting with his mum was simply to ‘address his hair’.

He said: ‘We are just trying to maintain standards of our 1,200 pupils.

‘The government guidance states that pupils should be in uniform so that is
what we are following.’

Mr Williams added that the school offered to pay for hair dye or treatment to remove the pink hue, but Emma said dying her son’s naturally blond hair a brown colour would look stranger than having dull pink.

The headteacher has insisted the school is ‘not being unreasonable’ in asking students not to have brightly coloured hair which has never previously been allowed.

Mr Williams said: ‘The hairstyle, the fringe, is not a problem. It’s just the colour. We don’t allow any students to have extreme hairstyles.

‘I want students focused on their education, not on the colour of their classmate’s hair.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Source: Read Full Article