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07th Dec 2021

Schoolboy placed in isolation at school for putting hair in plaits like female classmates

Charlie Herbert

Boy put in isolation for putting hair in plaits

His current look is deemed by the school to be an ‘extreme haircut’

A schoolboy in Devon has been removed from his classes and put in isolation as a punishment for arriving at school with his hair in plaits.

Lealan Hague, 14, was told by his teachers at Exmouth Community College that he must wear his hair down because his current look was deemed to be an “extreme haircut.”

On Monday December 6, the Year 10 pupil was placed in a ‘reflection room’ to continue his work and lessons on his own and isolate from his classmates.

His mum Kirsty has described the policy as an “absolute joke” and believes her son has the same right as girls to wear plaits.

She said: “He has had the same hair cut for the past 11 years but he has been told this morning that because it is up today in a plait then it’s an issue.

“His head of year said if he had his hair down it wouldn’t be an issue.

“He is in top set for basically all subjects so it is clearly not affecting his learning. It’s an absolute joke.”

She explained that her son plays a lot of rugby so “he had it tied up in plaits over the weekend to keep it out of his face and he liked it so he kept it up this morning.”

Lealan Hague’s plaits which got him into trouble (credit: SWNS)

Kirsty continues: “When he has his hair down, it does not cover the rest of his head so you can still see he has shaved hair on the sides.

“Putting him in internal at school means he has to sit in a room all by himself all day. If he goes to the toilet he has to be accompanied and can only go when all the children are in lessons so he does not be seen. He can’t go to the canteen for his lunch; that has to be done for him.

“Whether his hair is up in plaits or down and scruffy it shouldn’t make a difference at all. If girls can have plaited hair then why can’t he?”

In response to the incident, the school’s principal Andrew Davis said: “Our uniform rules are very clear and regularly communicated home to parents and carers.

“As is the case with many other schools across the country we expect hair to be conventional, do not allow students to have a haircut below grade one or to have extreme differences in hair length.”

Davis said that the issue was that the “braiding ran in a very small strip” across the top of Hague’s head and was combined with a “very close haircut” on the sides.

He continued: “Like most schools, we try to accommodate a range of hairstyles without resorting to any punitive action. This is usually through discussions with parents and carers about what would be acceptable to both parties.

“When a student arrives at college with an extreme haircut, they are usually placed in our reflection room to continue with schoolwork until parents and carers are contacted and the issue resolved.

“We regret any disruption to a child’s learning of whatever their ability. However, we have repeatedly made our expectations very clear to all students and their families.”

According to Devon Live, this isn’t Hague’s first clash with the school’s hair policy.

In March, he was forced to spend a day in isolation after his hair was deemed to be “extreme and too short.” His mum had cut his hair at home and could apparently only give him a 0 on the sides because the blade on the hair clippers broke.

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