School excludes boy from lessons because his hair is too short

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Emmanuel Sackey-Clarke, 15, who was excluded from lessons after his haircut was deemed too short by his teacher.

The 15-year-old had to spend two whole days in the “nurture base” after receiving a haircut his mother said was perfectly normal for a black boy.

A Bedford school excluded a 15-year-old boy from lessons because his hair was too short – despite it being “a very standard clean cut for a black boy”.

Celestine Sackey-Clarke says her son Emmanuel, 15, who attends Bedford Free School, was left “emotionally traumatised” when taken out of lessons because his hair was deemed too short last week (October 15).

Students who break the school’s uniform policy are sent to the “nurture base” – a supervised classroom where they must complete set work by the teachers instead of going to lessons.

But Ms Sackey-Clarke says that her son should never have been taken out of class for his haircut.

Over the weekend before October 15, Ms Sackey-Clarke sent her son to have a haircut “because he was having issues keeping his hair nice and presentable all the time.”

She continued: “He has thick and hard to manage black hair, so the barber gave him a nice low haircut that is easy to brush. We were happy with it as he didn’t have to spend a lot of time on his hair until it grows out.

“Only for him to get to school on Monday [October 15] to get punished for the haircut. This is a very standard clean cut for a black boy but he gets punished for it.”

Ms Sackey-Clarke says she is furious at the school, as Emmanuel was told by the teacher who removed him from class that he would not be able to return until his hair had grown back.

Emmanuel spent two school days out of lessons before telling his mum he didn’t want to go to school anymore. Ms Sackey-Clarke said when he came home from school as he was “very low.”

She said: “He says he felt lonely because he was made to sit by himself facing a wall in a lonely place. Once in front of the staff room facing the wall, away from all students and the second day he was sat facing a wall by the music room by himself.

“He was brought work from some of the lessons but not all the lessons and he didn’t get the opportunity of having the work explained to him. It was just left for him to work through.”

After two days, Ms Sackey-Clarke let her son stay at home saying: “I left a voicemail for them saying he wasn’t coming as he is emotionally traumatised.”

Bedford Free School principal Stuart Lock, who wasn’t able to comment on specific cases, said: “I’d clarify that we don’t put pupils into isolation for having the wrong haircut.

“Should pupils not follow our agreed standards of uniform, we do allocate resources to educate them in our nurture base so that we can keep our overall standards high while ensuring they still receive a high quality of education.

“The nurture base is where we ensure that pupils who are out of mainstream lessons are able to access the full curriculum and make progress, and are fully supervised. These pupils are not isolated.

“I can tell you that we have used the nurture base for the four terms that I have been at Bedford Free School for pupils that have infringed our uniform requirements.

“None have been in there for more than a couple of days and where the requirement has been because pupils cannot afford items of uniform, we have paid for these or lent them. All pupils and parents have been made repeatedly clear that this is how we keep our expectations high.

“This is as agreed in our home-school agreement, which every pupil and parent will sign before taking up a place at the school. This is an important element of the very high expectations we hold for all our pupils.

“These expectations are illustrated best in our Progress 8 score of +0.4 published by the DFE [on October 16], the highest progress score any school in Bedford has ever achieved.”

Emmanuel has since returned to lessons, and the school has reached out to Ms Sackey-Clarke to try and resolve the situation.

Source: cambridge-news.co.uk

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Mawuena Emmanuel is a Tech entrepreneur and a student. Mawuena is the founder of Violetfirms, LLC (violetfirms.com) and 2 other most promising startups. Am also a blogger and a contributor. He is also the Head of IT for Aim Higher Africa owned by Peace Hyde. He is currently the social media strategist for Akwaaba UK. And the Webmaster for Dj Mensah( djmensahonline.com). Am also a software developer which got me nominated for the student software developer of year which I won at the Ghana Tertiary Awards 2016

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