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    Schoolgirl told to remove braided hair extensions as father blasts school for ‘discrimination’ 

    Schoolgirl, 12, is left in tears after teachers told her to remove white braided hair extensions she wore in honour of her Jamaican heritage – as her father blasts school for ‘discrimination’

    • Year 8 pupil Lily Rann, 12, chose the style because of her Jamaican heritage
    • Dad Chris, 32, blasted Norton Hill School in Somerset for the ‘discrimination’
    • School said it was a ‘shame’, adding ‘we have not refused pupil entry into school’

    A schoolgirl was left in tears after teachers told to remove her white braided hair extensions or face being sent to isolation.

    Lily Rann had chosen the style while on a holiday to Cyprus because of her Jamaican heritage. 

    Her great-grandfather is thought to have been the first black miner in her hometown of Midsomer Norton, Somerset

    The 12-year-old was was told she would be sent to isolation if she did not dump her new hair-do.

    But the school said any suggestion of descrimination or racism was ‘disgusting’.

    Lily Rann, 12, had chosen the style while on a holiday to Cyprus because of her Jamaican heritage – her great-grandfather is said to be the first black miner in her hometown

    But the Year 8 pupil was told to lose the locks as it breached her Norton Hill School's policy of no unnatural hair colours

    But the Year 8 pupil was told to lose the locks as it breached her Norton Hill School’s policy of no unnatural hair colours

    Her father Chris, pictured here with Lily, slammed the school for discrimination after the incident

    Her father Chris, pictured here with Lily, slammed the school for discrimination after the incident 

    So the Year 8 pupil was devastated to learn that she would have to lose the locks as they breached her secondary school’s policy of no unnatural hair colours.

    Her father Chris said an agreement had since been reached to allow her back into lessons with the braids, providing she has the synthetic white extensions removed.

    But he slammed Norton Hill School for their stance on the issue – claiming ‘discrimination’.

    He said: ‘It’s absolutely mad – there are people dying in this pandemic. There are more important things to be doing.

    ‘Lily has had a really tough time with mental health over lockdown so we don’t want her in isolation.

    Dad Chris slammed Norton Hill School for their stance on the issue - claiming it was 'discrimination'

    Dad Chris slammed Norton Hill School for their stance on the issue – claiming it was ‘discrimination’

    Chris said he informed the school of the new style before Lily went back on Tuesday - and claims they asked to see a picture. He didn't supply one but, when she went in, it was explained that she would have to go to isolation unless her hair was changed

    Chris said he informed the school of the new style before Lily went back on Tuesday – and claims they asked to see a picture. He didn’t supply one but, when she went in, it was explained that she would have to go to isolation unless her hair was changed

    ‘People have messaged us saying ‘what’s her hair got to do with her learning?’ It’s discrimination. I think they are discriminating against her.

    ‘I really like the hairstyle. They said it was unacceptable. I think it’s more than acceptable.’

    Lorry driver Chris, 32, said he booked his family a holiday after a relative died and left him some money.

    He gave some of the cash to his son and daughter – which she used to pay for the hair extensions.

    Chris said he informed the school of the new style before Lily went back on Tuesday – and claims they asked to see a picture.

    He didn’t supply one but, when she went in, it was explained that she would have to go to isolation unless her hair was changed.

    This stance was also reiterated to Chris’ partner and Lily’s mother, Lydia Grubb, 31, in a meeting with staff.

    He added: ‘The school said they wouldn’t have her in properly but in isolation because of it.

    ‘They said the extensions need to be dyed or removed. They did say they didn’t have a problem with the braids, which are essentially plaits.

    A school said it was a 'shame' as Lily had already missed two weeks of school for the holiday, adding 'We have not refused entry into school for the pupil in question'

    A school said it was a ‘shame’ as Lily had already missed two weeks of school for the holiday, adding ‘We have not refused entry into school for the pupil in question’

    ‘Lily’s absolutely gutted. She even asked for bright colours in Cyprus and I said: ‘No, the school won’t let you have that’.

    ‘It’s just absolutely ridiculous – its not an eyesore. White is a natural colour.

    ‘All that will happen is Lily’s friends will say ‘nice hair’ on the first day and then it will be old news and forgotten about.’

    Head teacher Gordon Green said: ‘All we’ve asked is that they remove the white synthetic hair, it’s nothing to do with discrimination or racism or anything like that at all.

    ‘I was disgusted at just the idea in being linked in any way to racism.  

    ‘Like all schools we have uniform policies and one of the things is the extreme hair styles where you’ve got multiple colours of hair, variations of length and hair dyes that are outside the national range of colours. 

    ‘We were not in any way saying anything about the braids. We would do that for anyone in the school.’

    The school looked into the possibility of Lily joining the classes virtually as a means of keeping her in the classroom while enforcing isolation. 

    A spokesperson for the school said: ‘Norton Hill School has a reputation for having high expectations and standards throughout all aspects of school life. 

    ‘Our policy around uniform, like many other schools, prohibits extreme hairstyles which in this case involves synthetic white hair extensions woven through the entire head of hair.

    ‘We have not refused entry into school for the pupil in question.

    ‘This is a great shame, as the pupil in question has already missed a great deal of schooling following a family holiday in the first 2 weeks of term.

    ‘I am hopeful that the parents will support us in school to maintain standards and ensure that we can be focused on the education of children rather than their uniform.’

    Lily has been allowed back into the classroom on the agreement that the synthetic hair is removed at the weekend.  

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