Teachers removed a student who wore his hair down to school in plaits from their classes.

Lealan Hague (14 years old) was moved to Exmouth Community College’s “reflection area” after his teachers complained about the way that his hair was being pinned.

Staff advised him to leave his hair down, as he plays Rugby at Devon School regularly.  

Kirsty, his mother has criticized the school’s policy and said that it was an “absolute joke”. She believes her 14 year-old son has the right to wear plaits at school just like girls.

Lealan Hague, 14, was put in isolation at Exmouth Community College after teachers said there was an issue with his hair being worn up in plaits

Lealan Hague (14) was taken into isolation by Exmouth Community College because teachers noticed his hair had become tangled.

She stated that despite having the same haircut for 11 years, he was told today by his stylist that if it’s up in a ponytail it will be an issue.

His head of year told him that it didn’t matter if his hair was down.

“He’s in the top set for almost all subjects, so it clearly is not hindering his learning. It is an absurd joke.

“We think he looks more smart with his hair down than up. It was a rugby player so he had it in buns over the weekend. This morning he loved it and kept it that way.

“When his hair is down, it doesn’t cover his rest of the head. You can see that he still has his sides shaved.

He must sit alone in the same room as his teacher every day when he is in school. 

“If he needs to go to the toilet, he must have someone to accompany him. He can’t do it when his lessons are over. He cannot go to the cafeteria for lunch. That must be done.

The only thing that matters is whether his hair looks scruffy or up-do. Why can’t boys have long, plaited hair like girls?   

This isn’t the first instance of the Hague family clashing with school officials over the school’s haircut policy.

The pupil, who plays regularly plays rugby at the Devon school, decided to tie his hair in plaits over the weekend but he has been told he must keep his hair down. Pictured: Lealan with his hair down

Lealan, the pupil who regularly plays rugby at Devon school, decided that his hair should be pinned over the weekend. But he’s been instructed to keep his hair down. Photographed by Lealan, his hair down

After a haircut at his home in March, Lealan was unable to go back to school. He had been eager to socialize with his classmates again and return to school.

He was isolated after being informed that his hairstyle was too short and extreme just 45 minutes before the start of school.

Kirsty stated at that time she couldn’t help but cut her son’s hair because salons were still closed. She also said that the blade of her hair-clippers was broken so she could give him only a zero on the edges and leave his long hair in the top. 

Lealan was released from isolation the next day and allowed to return into class.

Andrew Davis was the Exmouth Community College principal. He explained that Exmouth Community College had strict standards about the appearance and Lealan’s hairstyle was considered extreme.

He said that he would not take any further action after the explanations were made.

In response to Lealan’s latest hair complaint, Davis stated: “Our uniform rules for children are clear. They are regularly communicated to their parents and caregivers.

“As with other schools in the country, we expect students’ hair to be traditional. We do not permit them to get a cut below grade 1 or extreme variations in their hair length.

“The issue was not braiding. It was the fact that braiding was done in very short strips across their heads, and combined with very precise haircuts of grade 0, on the rest of the hair.

“The student was able to wear his hair long before, so that the shortness of the hair at the side and back of his head wasn’t so obvious.

“We think that there is a significant increase in very short hair around grade 0, as opposed to the time when we tried to adjust for the long hair.

“Like all schools, our school tries to accommodate different hairstyles without resorting any punitive actions. This happens usually by talking with parents or carers to determine what is acceptable for both of them.

Students arriving at college with extreme hairstyles are often placed in our Reflection Room until they can be contacted by parents or caregivers and their concerns are resolved.

“We are sorry for any interruption in a child’s ability to learn. We have made it clear that our expectations are very clear for all students, their parents and families.

“School rules are an essential part of any child’s education. This allows them to know the boundaries and consequences that they will face as they make their way through this world.