Two schoolboys have been barred from a playground – over their “extreme haircuts”.
Claire Mitchell claims her boys have been banned from playing at lunch time.
The duo – Alfiee-Joe and Declan – are aged nine and eight respectively.
They were told by Silver End Academy in Essex, England on Monday that they wouldn’t be allowed to go outside until their hair grows back.
Claire, a mum-of-four, said the school only called about her eldest son, Alfiee-Joe’s hair initially.
When she pointed out her other son Declan had the same haircut, she claims they then banned him too, reports 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,” the 28-year-old said.
“Literally when she rang me, she said it’s nothing to do with his behavior, 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.”
According to msn news, The boys only moved to the school in May and had both started to settle in well.
But Claire claims Alfiee suffers with social anxiety and the news has left him very upset and confused.
“He had a brilliant week, he was really good in class -the teacher told us how good he had been,” she said.
“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.”
Alfie says he hasn’t been able to sleep well since the ban was imposed.
“Alfiee stayed up until 11.30pm last night worrying because he didn’t want to go to school. He sits and worries about things,” Claire said.
“My other son – he is a model student – is devastated he is now being punished for a haircut.”
Claire said her boys have had the hair style at previous schools and never had a problem.
She said the boys’ told her the teachers even commented on their hair saying it was nice.
The boys hair is styled thinner at the sides with more hair on top, a very common hairstyle today.
However she thinks it is the parting which is causing the problem.
“I have had parents say their kids have the same hairstyle, my barber shaved a parting into it so it didn’t go in their faces,” she said.
“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?”
Claire has been travelling to the school every lunchtime and break-time to pick her boys up and take them back to her house near the school, just so they can have a run about outside.
“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.”
Claire has tried to speak with the headteacher to find a way for the boys to play outside, even suggesting they wear hats so other children can’t see their hair.
She said: “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.”
The headteacher of Silver End Academy, 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.”