VIDEO: Sheffield schoolgirl excluded over ‘extreme’ leopard print hairstyle

Yvonne Mcdowell is angry her daughter Lauren, 13, has been excluded from Forge Valley School because of her hairstyle.
Yvonne Mcdowell is angry her daughter Lauren, 13, has been excluded from Forge Valley School because of her hairstyle.
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Schoolgirl Lauren Mcdowell’s new leopard print hairstyle proved to be a cut too far – when she was sent home from classes.

The 13-year-old was excluded on the first day of the new term at Forge Valley School in Stannington for her ‘extreme’ haircut.

Lauren’s hair is shaved on one side which is dyed brown and blond in a leopard print style.

The school branded the hairstyle a breach of its ‘very clear’ uniform policy.

But mum Yvonne claims the decision is a breach of her daughter’s ‘human rights’ and is refusing to change her hair.

Yvonne, 34, of Middlewood, said: “I have explained to the school that I can understand its uniform policy and I totally agree with it but you cannot tell anyone how their hair should be styled.

Yvonne Mcdowell is angry her daughter Lauren, 13, has been excluded from Forge Valley School because of her hairstyle. Pictured is Lauren, 13.

Yvonne Mcdowell is angry her daughter Lauren, 13, has been excluded from Forge Valley School because of her hairstyle. Pictured is Lauren, 13.

“She is excluded until I dye it a more suitable colour. I’m not doing that.

“It’s a breach of her human rights. What rights do they have to tell someone how to have their hair?

“They are discriminating against her because of how she looks. She has the right to express herself in whatever way she wants as long as she is in school uniform.

“They are refusing my child an education. She was in school wanting to learn.”

Headteacher Dale Barrowclough said the school has a ‘very clear’ uniform policy.

He said: “This policy is communicated to parents frequently and is available to download from our website. The policy clearly states that extreme haircuts, including hair colour, are not allowed.

“A pupil arrived at school with a ‘leopard skin’ hair colour/style.

“I took the decision to send the pupil home in order to remedy this breach of the school’s uniform policy.”

Yvonne – who said she was not aware of a school policy on haircuts – said the style was something the Year 8 pupil had been requesting for some time.

She added: “Hers is shaved on one side and long on the other. It’s dyed brown and blonde on the short side in a leopard print style.

“She used to be bullied and this is a form of her trying to express herself.”