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Josiah's new haircut too 'extreme' for playground; STYLIST MUM DANICA HITS OUT AT SCHOOL'S 'HARSH TREATMENT'.

Byline: KELLY ASHMORE News Reporter kelly.ashmore@reachplc.com

A YOUNG schoolboy's "extreme" haircut resulted in him being banned from the playground at break times.

Josiah Sharpe has the back and sides of his hair shaved in a 'skin fade style',' which his mother, Danica, said helps hide his traction alopecia and gives him a "smart, tidy appearance".

But according to Kerry Rochester, executive headteacher at Summerhill Primary Academy, in Tipton, the youngster's haircut goes against the school's hair policy, which says pupils must not have 'hairstyles that will detract from learning' - with cuts that fall below a grade two length strictly forbidden.

Josiah's haircut hide traction according to Until his hair grew back to a satisfactory length, the five-year-old lost his playtimes but Danica has hit out at the "harsh" treatment of her son,claiming that the policy was "culturally biased" and "dictating a hair style that's not suitable" for her son's Afro-Caribbean locks - an accusation the school denies.

Danica, who is a hair stylist,said: "The hair policy lacks cultural awareness as a grade two haircut is not fair for Josiah's type of hair and others from different racial backgrounds.

"When he first started there, I did try a grade two haircut but within three days, it had started to grow out and it looked a total mess.

"In the Afro-Caribbean community, if a boy's hair is not long and plaited, or put in dreadlocks, we are expected to cut the hair very short for a smart tidy appearance.

"It's not a fashion statement, in our culture hair at a grade two or three is regarded out grown and untidy for a curly/coiled hair type.

"If your put a Caucasian grade two haircut and an Afro-Caribbean grade two haircut side by side, you will get two very different appearance which will become even more evident as it grows.

"He's been having this haircut since he was one. The only time the school had said anything about it previously was when he was in reception and he had a patch on the back of his head. It wasn't there intentionally, it was because he'd moved while at the barbers.

haircut helps alopecia mum Danica "I've explained it all to Josiah but he's confused about why he's being singled out. I've told him he can grow his hair out and put it in plaits but he wants to keep it how it is."

However Ms Rochester said the uniform and presentation policy was "inclusive for all children" at the school, adding that it "neither discriminates against an individual child or racial background".

Ms Rochester said: "Unfortunately, Josiah's hair has been styled in line with what we understand to be the 'skin fade' style. His hair is tapered around the back and sides to what is known as 'zero fade' or 'bald fade.'"."

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Josiah's haircut helps hide traction alopecia according to mum Danica

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 19, 2019
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