Should this boy be taught alone and banned from play sessions because of his mohican?

Corbin Castledine
Corbin Castledine
Share this article
Have your say

Eight-year-old Corbin Castledine is facing life at school in almost total isolation - all because of his hair.

The Sheffield schoolboy has been told that unless he has a haircut he will be taught alone, must spend break and lunchtimes on his own and will be banned from after-school football and play sessions.

Corbin has been told he must even use a different entrance to his friends because of a new policy on ‘extreme hairstyles’ introduced this term at Parson Cross CE Primary, Wadsley Bridge.

Mum Carmen has withdrawn her son from the school rather than accept the sanctions and is looking for a place somewhere else.

But headteacher Helen Richardson criticised Mrs Castledine, saying despite numerous meetings she had refused to accept any compromise.

Mrs Castledine said Corbin had been going to school with his Mohican-style cut for the two years without problems.

“It’s not a punk style, his hair is part of who he is,” she said at the family home on Parson Cross Road, Wadsley Bridge.

“Corbin feels strongly about this and so do I. It is about his individuality and helps his confidence and self-esteem.

“I also feel there are gender issues in play here.

“Girls can have hair extensions, streaks and all manner of styles whereas the boys can basically only have short or long.

“Of course he wants to be taught with his friends but the school says he must learn to conform to the norms.

“But I believe children should grow developing their own identities.”

Mrs Castledine, who is a social worker, has taken her case to the chair of governors, the Anglican diocese and the local authority.

“Corbin’s levels of achievement and attendance record attendance record have always been excellent before all this. I think it’s disgusting,” she added.

Mrs Richardson said: “It is utterly regrettable that this pupil has been withdrawn from school in this way. Despite our best efforts, which have included mediation, to reach an amicable resolution on this matter, sadly the parent has refused to come to any compromise.

“We have had numerous meetings since the start of term with this pupil’s mother to try to resolve this issue without it impacting on the child’s education, which we feel is paramount.

“But despite asking her repeatedly to change her child’s hairstyle and informing her of the consequences if she did not, she refused to do so.

“This left us no alternative but to educate her son out of the classroom.

“A continued serious and flagrant breach of school policy can ultimately result in exclusion, a step that was not taken.

“It is sad then that the mother has now chosen to withdraw her child from the school, leaving him without any teaching at all while she applies for alternative provision.”

Mrs Richardson said the school policy had met with the full approval of the governing body and the diocese and it also complied with national guidelines.