A school refused to let a self-conscious girl wear a hoodie and cap to conceal her hair loss before backing down after parents and students staged a turbulent rally outside the gates while wearing hats.
Ella Goodwin, 13, felt uncomfortable wearing a wig to school after losing patches of her hair but was told that she must adhere to the uniform policy at Heritage High in Clowne, Derbyshire.
Children gathered outside the premises yesterday morning and wore hats in support of their fellow pupil, prompting the school to alter its stand.
One parent said that some children were not let in, while others were put in isolation and the police were summoned.
A message sent by the school’s Year 9 manager read that they had talked to Senior staff with regards to Ella wearing a hoodie and baseball cap, but because of school policy around the uniform, they were unable to authorise her wearing them.
They maintained that they do, however, have a couple of pupils in school currently who wear wigs and that they wondered if Ella would like to meet with her and chat about her experience, and that might make Ella feel better about wearing her wig in school.
Ella has been battling Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis, a rare condition that causes abnormal swelling in and around the bones, for over two years, leaving her next to no immune system, making school remarkably challenging.
Ella’s father, Shaun Goodwin, said that his daughter’s loss of hair, which is still a puzzle to her doctors, has left her very self-conscious.
He said that she’s a very young girl, and at that age, they want to be curling or straightening their hair, making themselves look good.
The family say the support they’ve got from parents and students at the school has been very heartening, and Shaun Goodwin said that seeing all those people out in support of Ella was out of this world, and they can’t thank them enough.
He said that he didn’t think she realised how many friends she had in the community and that she was overwhelmed.
Mr Goodwin had a meeting today but was told that the school had changed its ruling and would let his daughter wear a cap and hoodie in school, but the school had been pretty mean to her by taking away her freedom, and this is extremely uncaring behaviour from the school, yet short skirts are okay, and what they must understand is this, a mini skirt is what a student chooses to wear, hair loss isn’t a choice.
And anyone with an ounce of empathy should have made this concession, anyone with a brain would have recommended it, but then it appears that the rules are there for ignorant people, sadly, some of the dumbest are educated and in charge of educating others.
And so many of these teachers have degrees, but no common sense, but they’re pretty good at making sure their budget is spent by April, to get a full budget for the coming year, but it seems that compassion isn’t something people practice anymore, but clearly the people running our schools no longer possess intelligence or discretion, and our education system is no longer fit for purpose.
I can remember when in school, teachers taught and encouraged, now they just instruct, they don’t teach, and girls are allowed to cover their hair for religious reason, so why not for a medical reason, and why did the school make such an issue of it?