A teenager eager to finally see his classmates again after a year of lockdown was ordered into isolation on his very first day back at school because of his “extreme” haircut.
Lealan Hague, 13, returned as a Year 9 pupil at Exmouth Community College in Devon on March 9 after months of not being able to go into class or interact much with friends.
But just 45 minutes into class he was sent into isolation as his new haircut was deemed “extreme and too short”.
The teenager was told he could face a whole week of isolation due to the haircut which his mum Kirsty said he got for no fault of his own.
The furious mum tried explaining to the school that her son had ended up with such short hair as all salons were closed during lockdown and she only had a broken clipper that would give him a zero around the sides.
She said the school initially failed to comprehend and insisted on putting her son in isolation, DevonLive reports.
However, he was on Wednesday allowed out of isolation and back into the classroom.
Kirsty said: “Lealan badly needed a haircut, as do many, so we cut his hair short because he really suffers from itching with longer hair.
“Since Lealan was about five he has always had his hair fully shaved, but when he started at Exmouth Community College he was not allowed to do that any more.
“Instead we’ve kept it as short as is permitted. It got a bit long and wild during lockdown so I gave him a short back and sides, but it was grade zero as our clipper blade is broken.
“I thought the school would be a bit more lenient considering the current circumstances, and understand why.
“They didn’t call me until 3.20pm on Tuesday to inform me Lealan had been put in isolation and said it will happen all week, purely because his hair is too short.
“On his first day back he said he had no break times, no lunch time and had to stay in the room all day because of his hair cut. They got his lunch from the canteen for him as he wasn’t allowed to leave the room.
“When he wanted to go to the toilet he was told he would have to wait until everyone was in class so that they would not see his hair cut that is deemed unsuitable for school.
“I could understand if his hair had markings or things cut into it, or had been coloured, but he’s just literally had a haircut at home which does not affect his learning.
“It’s hard enough for children and everyone at the moment; they don’t need this on top.
“He has been in isolation since last March and we haven’t let him go out much or meet his friends. He’s literally been at home.”
Andrew Davis, principal at Exmouth Community College, said: “As you would expect, the college has high standards around the appearance of our students. This includes the appropriate wearing of uniform, jewellery and haircuts.
“During lockdown we are aware that some students find it difficult to have an appropriate haircut and so we have modified our normal standards to accommodate such issues.
“In this particular case, it was a very extreme haircut and so we did provide alternative onsite learning while we investigated the circumstances.
“Within a short space of time those circumstances were explained to us and the student was allowed to return to his lessons as normal and no further action will be taken.”