A British teenager who shaved her hair off for charity was punished by her school for attending with a shaved head.
Niamh Baldwin, 14, was removed from her class by Mounts Bay Academy in Penzance the day after she donated her hair to Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs for sick children suffering from hair loss.
Her mother, 32-year-old Anneka Baldwin, took to Facebook to slam the punishment.
“I think this is the most courageous and amazing thing to do and makes me so proud, that’s why I am so upset that the school has made her feel so low and put her into isolation,” she wrote in a post, which has been widely shared since.
“Niamh has always had outstanding reports and feedback from all her teachers and everyone I know and she meets always say she is an maxing [sic] polite and lovely girl !! This doesn’t change because of a hairstyle and to me it is discrimination!!! I’m actually fuming!”
But the school’s principal, Sara Davey, told the Daily Mail that the teenager had broken the school’s rules and deserved to be punished.
Davey said the family should have asked before conducting such a radical haircut, and if they had done so, she would have advised them to choose an alternative method to give to charity.
“The family had every opportunity to contact the school about their actions before Niamh shaved her hair for charity but they for some reason did not do this,” she said.
“The policy on extreme haircuts in school is very clear and has been published in our behavior policy for many years. Extreme haircuts including head shaving have never been allowed and this is common for schools across the UK,” Dewey said in a statement to Cornwall Live.
She said the teenager should wear a headscarf until her hair grows back.
Mounts Bay Academy Vice Principal Les Hall added to the BBC that her appearance was “upsetting and confusing to a number of students and staff.”
In case of a rule being broken, according to the school’s policies, students may face a reprimand, students may be moved within the class, or students may face isolation in the same or a separate room.