Row over schoolgirl’s dyed hair

Jessica Chapman, who has faced problems at Graham School over her hair colour.'113742b.
Jessica Chapman, who has faced problems at Graham School over her hair colour.'113742b.

A MOTHER has criticised Graham School after her teenage daughter dyed her hair – which is against the school’s policy.

Hayley Chapman, 39, of Gladstone Road, said the school is “stifling the creativity” of her 14-year-old daughter, Jessica, by not allowing her to dye her hair red.

She has started a petition in support of amendments to the school’s appearance policy, which she hopes that students and staff will sign.

A spokesperson for Graham School told the Evening News that the school did not wish to comment on individual students, but added: “The headteacher and governing body are very proud of the uniform and appearance that we achieve with our students.”

The school also said that the policy on appearance and dress was voted on and approved by the school’s governors, so if any parents were unhappy about the policy, they should write to them. They also stated that a copy of the policy is available on its website.

Mrs Chapman said: “Jessica is absolutely gutted about this.

“All of the people that I’ve spoken to about it, including parents, all think that it’s a really outdated policy.

“I do understand the rules, but they really need to be updated to allow teenagers to be creative. These rules don’t belong in the 21st century.”

Graham School allegedly threatened to put Jessica in the Student and Support Bay of the school.

It was only when Mrs Chapman threatened to pull her daughter from classes that the school agreed to back down.

“I told the school that I wasn’t prepared to let her go in the unit. She’s not a problem child, she’s a very neat and tidy girl.

“The school need to accept that there’s nothing wrong with being an individual, and they should embrace individualism rather than try and stop it.”

This is not the first time that the school has threatened to punish a student for dyeing their hair.

Last year Jessica’s cousin, Jade Chapman, was allegedly threatened with suspension in her final week at the school for dyeing her hair.