Exmouth pupil suspended over hairstyle

PUBLISHED: 10:37 17 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:54 10 June 2010

P1701-38-09SH Jay Satchwell with the letter of exclusion from the Exmouth Community College and inset a view of the back of his haircut.
Picture by Simon Horn.

P1701-38-09SH Jay Satchwell with the letter of exclusion from the Exmouth Community College and inset a view of the back of his haircut. Picture by Simon Horn.

Copyright Archant Ltd

THE FATHER of a hard-working pupil said he was disgusted with Exmouth Community College after it suspended his child - because of his haircut, writes Graham Britton. Paul Satchwell, of Beacon Hill, said his son, Jay Satchwell, 13, was told he had to shave

THE FATHER of a hard-working pupil said he was disgusted with Exmouth Community College after it suspended his child - because of his haircut, writes Graham Britton.

Paul Satchwell, of Beacon Hill, said his son, Jay Satchwell, 13, was told he had to shave off all the hair at the back of his head last week or he would be banned from going to school.

By failing to adhere to the request, Jay's parents received a letter on Tuesday, September 15, to notify them Jay would be excluded for three days after 'refusing to accept the authority of the college'.

Annoyed with the decision, Paul said: "I'm disgusted. At the end of the day they are not letting him be his own person."

The youngster shaved artwork into the side of his hair during the summer holidays. When he returned to college, they asked for it to be removed which he agreed to.

But, Paul said by shaving it short at the sides, it made the middle part of his hair more exaggerated and left a v-shaped effect at the back of his head.

He added: "The school said they didn't like it appearing to be stuck up so he flattened it down - and then said they wanted it all shaven off.

"They keep moving the goalposts. Every time we conform, they then change their policy.

Paul claimed the staff were inconsistent about pupils' hair styles.

He said: "One of Jay's teachers said to him this week: 'I know Mr Alexander doesn't tell all the children who have the same hair style the same thing but if he has spoken with you, you have to conform.

"How wrong is that?

"I stood at the school gates when I went to discuss the matter with the principal and there must have been 30 lads walk past me with the same style.

"I'm not prepared for them to dictate how his hair should look to the point where they'll expel him and deprive him of an education. I will fight this matter and go to the education authorities."

Tony Alexander said the overwhelming majority of parents supported the college's aim of achieving the highest standards of behaviour, attitude and appearance for their children.

He added: "The policy on appearance is clearly documented and is non-negotiable.

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