Thursday, 29 Jul 2021

Schoolgirl's false eyelashes put her into isolation

Mother complains after her 14-year-old daughter is put into isolation at school for wearing false eyelashes

  • Chelsea Silk, 14, was disciplined after turning up at school wearing false lashes
  • Her mother Angela Jackson hit the roof to slam  Royal Wootton Bassett Academy
  • The school said it had ‘high expectations’ of its students in defence
  • Ms Jackson is worried Chelsea  will fall behind in her studies over the row

A mother has sparked a backlash after complaining her teenage daughter was disciplined for breaching school rules over her false eyelashes.

Parent Angela Jackson is taking a stand against an academy after Chelsea Silk, 14, was told she faces being put in isolation.

Chelsea says she was left in tears when a member of staff stood over her in the toilets until she took off the lashes.

Angela was contacted by the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy last Wednesday and told false eyelashes were against the uniform rules.

Chelsea has since been placed in isolation every day that she has turned up to school wearing the eyelashes.

But Angela, who gave permission for her daughter to be identified and pictured, is adamant that she won’t back down over what she calls ‘Lashgate’.

She has faced a backlash herself – with hundreds of people making online comments saying the school is in the right.

Angela, a kennel assistant and volunteer for dog rescue charities, said: ‘I went in to pick her up and she was very upset because someone stood over at the basin until she took them off.

Chelsea Silk, 14, was disciplined after turning up at school wearing false eye lashes

Parent Angela Jackson is taking a stand after Chelsea was told she faces being put in isolation

‘I will not back down on this and she will keep going in to school wearing the eyelashes. It means that she will be in the isolation unit.

‘She has never been in there before for anything and has never had a detention.

‘I don’t see how wearing false eyelashes impacts on her school work.

‘I took photographs of her wearing one set of false lashes like she does for school and another of her wearing two.

‘I accept that wearing two sets would be inappropriate but I can’t see that the one set can cause any problems.’

But Angela’s protest has sparked controversy on social media, with hundreds of people agreeing with the school’s strict uniform policy.

One said: ‘I am sure you can live without false eyelashes for a few hours.’

A second said: ‘Always believed uniform. Discipline is a key part of education.

‘It doesn’t set a good example going against policy – it makes a child spoilt.

‘You don’t go to a job wearing something that is unnecessary. School is for learning it’s not a fashion parade.

Her mother Angela Jackson hit the roof to slam Royal Wootton Bassett Academy

‘People should encourage their children to follow rules, not to be disobedient and break them.’

A third added: ‘I agree with the school, there’s jobs out there that aren’t allowed to wear acrylic nails, does that mean the company is pathetic?

‘Uniform and school policies are no different to company uniform and policies they are there for a reason!

‘When I was younger I wasn’t allowed to wear the fashionable blue eyeshadow and mascara and had to take it off at school!

‘If you can’t abide by school policies then there’s no hope if you get a Job with uniform and strict policies in the future!’

‘I wouldn’t risk my child’s education in her GCSE year,’ a fourth added.

‘Certainly not over false eyelashes. This is such a pointless battle to fight. You don’t need to wear false lashes to school.’

A fifth said: ‘Go put your big girl pants on and get over yourself!

‘It’s a school not a bloody nightclub! If kids can’t follow rules at school what the hell are they going to be like when they start work?’

‘I hope some of these school CHILDREN think about applying for the armed forces,’ a sixth said.

Angela said unless the school rules are reworded specifically to ban the wearing of eyelashes – Chelsea will continue to wear them.

Angela, who has two other children at the same school and a son who left Year 11 last year, added: ‘I have never had any complaints about Chelsea over anything else.

‘Most of the girls in her year wear false eyelashes. She has been told before not to wear them but I totally disagree they are a health hazard.

‘I make a stand against the schools pathetic policy in relation to this and stand alongside all of the female students of Royal Wootton Bassett Academy that wish to wear false eyelashes to enhance their natural attributes and boost their self-esteem.

‘The lashes do not impede my child’s ability to read, write or learn and I find it absolutely pathetic that the school has chosen the path of sanction which leads to exclusion above the right for my child to be in school being educated over a set of false eyelashes.’

Angela is now worried that Chelsea may be prevented from going on a trip to Swanage as part of her GCSE coursework.

She is also concerned that while her daughter is in isolation she is missing out on practical work in preparation for next year’s GCSE exams.

The school’s uniform policy says that make-up should be kept to a minimum and only neutral tones used. It also says no nail varnish, gel nails or artificial nails may be worn. But on the school’s website false lashes are not specifically mentioned.

Deputy head Mari Roberts said: ‘The school is aware that the mother does not support us right now, but we have spent time working with her and her daughter to de-escalate the situation.

‘The school adopts an empathetic inclusive approach to individual student needs as is the case in this instance. Our Behaviour for Learning school system was in place pre-Covid and we have not changed any of the high expectations we have of our students.

‘We provide stability and consistency for our students and families in a time of Covid instability.

‘The majority of our parent body support us, making us an extremely popular school.’

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