A teenager who dyed the fringe of her hair blonde was sent home from the first day of school for violating school policies.
“I didn’t think my hair would be a problem,” Lydia said. “It really put a negative spin on my first day back. I just wanted to get on and start my GCSEs and I don’t want to miss any work.”
Lydia added that school administrators gave her the option of facing a day of isolation or going home because of her hair.
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Sue Hearle, the school’s Headteacher, said she thinks that the decision to send Lydia home was justified and that it is important for students to value their appearance.
“I do acknowledge that pupils will want to express their individuality,” she said. “But I have to balance that with maintaining discipline in the school and being fair to all pupils.”
But Lydia’s mother, Ruth Newberry, said she disagrees with the way administrators approached the situation. She said she thinks school officials prioritized appearance over learning with their response to the dress code violation.
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“I am most upset about how this has been handled. What has it got to do with their learning? All this has done is had a negative effect,” Newberry said. “(Lydia) is somebody that wants to work and has been predicted A's for all her grades. It’s not like she is a troublesome student.”
Newberry added that she thinks her daughter’s hair is different from a uniform and that it is not “extreme.”
For now, Lydia has quelled the situation by masking her bleached fringe with brown hairspray until she and her mom meet with school officials to further discuss the situation. Still, she thinks that she should be able to keep her hair style and that administrators will change their stance.
“I should have the freedom to express myself,” Lydia said.