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article imageStudent kept in 'isolation' at school after dying hair red

By Leigh Goessl     Sep 12, 2012 in World
Barry - A mother in Wales is furious after school administrators separated her daughter from the rest of her high school class on the first day of school.
The reason why school officials say the teen was isolated from the other students was because her hair had been dyed a deep color of red over the summer break.
Mom says school reaction to daughter's hair is "ludicrous"
Paula Close has been described as "furious" after her 15-year-old daughter Shannon was placed in "isolation" by her teachers on the first day of school at Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School. The school cited the teen's dyed red hair did not conform to the school's uniform policy.
“They were asking me to dye it down because it’s too pink,” the teen told Wales Online.
“They put my daughter in isolation. They put her in the room on her own and she is to work in that room on her own. They said she will stay in isolation until I sort her hair out," mom Paula Close said.
She referred to the school's reaction as "absolutely ludicrous" since her daughter's hair color doesn't impact her work. Close also noted the school's efforts would be better directed at those not in school, rather than pupils actually attending.
School defends its policy
Phil Whitcombe, head of Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School, Barry, told the media that 15-year-old Shannon was not "isolated" while at school, he noted there was a teacher in the room at all times (but no other students).
"What we have is an inclusion room which is supervised. She was in the room with a teacher. Our concern is that she still has her normal work to get on with. I’m sure that would be mum’s concern as well," Whitcombe said. “We have a policy. The mother was issued with a copy of that when the child started at the school. It is quite clear about hair colour. It says hair colour and style must be appropriate for school.”
School dress code policies
This raises the subjective question of what's "appropriate style"?
An article in The Stir addresses this concept.
Jeanne Sager writes, "When it comes to setting rules for kids, the more specific you are, the better chance you have of getting them followed. It's a lesson I've learned the hard way as a mom. And it's a lesson more school administrators should take to heart."
Sager points out how vague the school's policy is "appropriate for school", writing, "What the heck does that even mean?!" As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. One principal's "appropriate" is another principal's "just this side of harlot."
Teen will tone down her hair
Wales Online reported, following discussions between the school and the Close family, Shannon will be toning down her hair and can then attend regular classes.
Do you think red hair is inappropriate for school?
More about shannon close, school dress codes, school dress code, Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School, Wales
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