Hastings teen told to reverse red hair dye or be excluded

Jessica Wades hair after attempts to get it back to its natural brown. Photo by Alexandra Wade SUS-160914-140943001
Jessica Wades hair after attempts to get it back to its natural brown. Photo by Alexandra Wade SUS-160914-140943001

A Hastings mother is angry after her daughter was told to dye her back to its original colour or she would be suspended from school after coming back with red hair.

Jessica Wade dyed her red over the summer holidays but on her first day back at The Hastings Academy, a teacher told her she had six days to get it back to brown.

The 13-year-old’s mother Alexandra was appalled by the school’s ‘overly-strict’ dress code and emphasis on image over education.

“Why should the colour of my child’s hair effects her ability to learn? The answer is it doesn’t,” she said.

“I’m annoyed the school cares more about its image than the education of its children. Their hair colour is trivial.

“I feel like they are bullying my daughter into being someone she’s not – they’re bullying the children into being drones. It doesn’t matter what hair colour they have.”

Jessica went back to school on Tuesday, September 6, and was pulled up for her hair and told she had until Monday (September 12) to fix it.

Mrs Wade, of Oak Tree Mews, was told by the academy when she spoke to them that the uniform is set as a form of discipline.

Hastings Academy was contacted for comment but did not respond before the Observer went to press.

But the angry mum saw plenty of other students with highlights, multi-tones and even some with dyed hair, who were not told to change.

When Jessica went back on Monday, after going to pains over the weekend to get her hair back to its natural colour by dyeing it brown, no one said anything to her.

“It’s frustrating when you spend the money on hair dye and then you have to spend another £40 to get it back to brown, which still has red in it,” she said.

“I don’t really want to put too much dye in as it will do damage.”

A sticking point for Ms Wade is the school is ‘obsessed’ with its image, particularly after becoming an academy, rather than the children’s education.

But she pointed out the fact that pupils are not allowed in Aldi at certain times due to anti-social behaviour, claiming the school’s image was tainted more by this than her daughter’s red hair.

“The schools a joke, you can put a kid in jeans and T-shirt and they will still learn the same as if they were in a blazer with the school logo,” she said.

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