School punishes student for his ‘unsuitable’ hair

Stacey Farmer with his 14-year-old son, Harry'D15041787a
Stacey Farmer with his 14-year-old son, Harry'D15041787a
21
Have your say

A FATHER has criticised his son’s school after it placed the 14-year-old in isolation for having an ‘unsuitable’ haircut.

Year-nine Durrington High School student Harry Farmer has been told he will spend his time working in isolation until his hair has grown back to a suitable length.

Harry’s dad, Stacey Farmer, 44, of Coleridge Crescent, Durrington, said: “It’s not extreme by any means.

“It’s slightly longer on top and swept to one side like all the lads have. There’s no colours, it’s not like he’s been running around with a Mohawk. He’s absolutely devastated. He’s always been good at school.

“He’s always worked hard and tried his best.

“I think he’s getting to the point where he feels slightly victimised. I said ‘you’re pushing him to a point he’s going to turn around and rebel’. I can see his point of view to a certain extent.”

Chris Woodcock, the school’s deputy head teacher, said the school would not comment on individual cases, but reiterated its policy.

He said: “We continue 
to have consistent and 
clear expectations of all students in terms of uniform and personal presentation 
in school.

“Our expectations have been consistent for a number of years now and as a result of working closely with students and their parents – by confirming expectations and any specific changes in advance through letters, emails, on our website and through student planners and assemblies.

“The vast majority of students present themselves exceptionally well each and every day.”

In the last three weeks, Mr Farmer said he had spent around £20 on haircuts for Harry to try to rectify the problem, but to no avail.

“I know the school had a policy on extreme haircuts,” he said. “I went to the hairdressers with him and I wouldn’t have let him have it done if I thought it was too much.

“While I was there I saw about half a dozen kids with similar hair. It just seems ridiculous to me to put a child’s education at risk for something so petty.

“I’m not one for making a fuss but sometimes you’ve just got to make a stand.”

In year-nine, students select the subjects they would like to study for their GCSEs and sit exams to decide their study groups for key subjects in year-ten.

Mr Farmer is concerned that the disruption to Harry’s education could have an adverse effect on his results.

“This is the year they are taking their options which has made me even more frustrated. They just want robots, everyone to be exactly the same and to conform.”