I recently read the story of Taylor Jones, a boy who grew his hair so he could shave it to donate to cancer survivors. Sounds great, right? However, his school didn't seem to think so, and Jones was sent into isolation for his "extreme hairstyle". This raises the question; should schools really be allowed to dictate whaf children decide to do with their hair? It's always completely amazed me that teachers believe that things like hairstyles, nail varnish and acrylics can really prevent a child from learning in school. This isn't just a British issue. Last week in America, Xavier Davis faced suspension for having two lines in his fade; he had the hairstyle for months before it was made an issue by the achool. As a child, he felt like it was incredibly unfair, and his mother had to even use black felt tip oen to cover the second line so he could come back to school and not miss out on the rest of his learning. I understand some things such as crop tops, swear words in graves in your hair, Gang Signs and visible tattoos. But why should a child be told that their hair, hair that may be part of their culture, does not conform to the rule books? In South Africa, Zuluaikha Patel waged a war against her school who told her she could not wear her natural hair to school. The school actually banned natural hair for all the black students. This is shocking for me to comprehend, as luckily I've never been told that my natural hair is not allowed during my time at school, but for this young woman, being told at the young age of 13 that her own hair she was born with isn't good enough, would be damaging on her self esteem and how she looks at herself in the mirror. Schools are trusted to teach their students right and wrong, but threatening suspension when a child shaves their hair for charity, putting children into isolation, because of a hairstyle is not the right thing to do and not the right thing to teach. 

Angela Appah, St Philomenas Catholic high school