A schoolgirl was left in tears after being asked to remove her white braided hair extensions by teachers – a style chosen because of her Jamaican heritage.
Lily Rann, 12, was was told she would be sent to isolation if she did not dump her new do after returning from a holiday to Cyprus.
But Lily is proud of her roots – her great-grandfather is said to be the first black miner in her hometown of Midsomer Norton, Somerset.
So the Year 8 pupil was devastated to learn that she would have to lose the locks as it breached her secondary school’s policy of no unnatural hair colours.
Dad Chris said an agreement has since been reached to allow her back into lessons with the braids, providing she has the synthetic white extensions removed.
But he slammed Norton Hill School for their stance on the issue – claiming “discrimination”.
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.”
Lorry driver Chris, 32, said he booked his family a holiday after a relative died and left him some money.
He gave some of the cash to his son and daughter – which she used to pay for the hair extensions.
Chris said he informed the school of the new style before Lily went back on Tuesday (22/9) – and claims they asked to see a picture.
He didn’t supply one but, when she went in, it was explained that she would have to go to isolation unless her hair was changed.
This stance was also reiterated to Chris’ partner and Lily’s mum, Lydia Grubb, 31, in a meeting with staff.
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.”