Fundraising haircuts cause a stir at school

Gemma Wright, Kiera Thomas and Macey Daden with their charity head shaves
Gemma Wright, Kiera Thomas and Macey Daden with their charity head shaves

A ROW has broken out at a secondary school over three pupils’ decision to have half their hair shaved off for charity.

Twelve-year-olds Kiera Thomas, of Bexhill Road, Gemma Wright, of Seaside Road and Macey Daden, of Filsham Road, who all attend The St Leonards Academy, have raised more than £800 for Cancer Research UK.

They came up with the fundraiser as each of their respective families have lost loved ones to cancer. The trio had their charity hair shave at Romans Hair Studio last Saturday (June 22).

But Kiera’s mum, Susan, said her daughter and her two friends were reprimanded by teachers and claimed their fundraising efforts had been dismissed as ‘pathetic’.

Kiera was also put in isolation from all of her classmates, she told the Observer.

Miss Thomas said: “All three girls asked teachers at school beforehand if they could have half their hair shaved for charity and the school said it was okay as long as they covered it appropriately.

“Gemma had hers done and covered it over, as did Macey. Kiera’s hair, however, is pretty much impossible to cover because of the way it was cut and also because it is so thin.

“Kiera was put into isolation on Monday from the rest of her class and told she couldn’t go into any class until her hair was covered over. She came home in tears.

“They were told it was an ‘absolutely pathetic’ way to raise money and that they should have gone on a jog instead.

“But some teachers sponsored them to have half their hair shaved off.

“A lot of people say the youth of today are selfish and self-centred. My daughter and her friends proved they’re not. Kiera stood her ground and refused to cover her hair and was put in isolation.”

Kiera’s mum has since set up a Facebook group in protest, which now has more than 600 supporters.

She added: “I think it was very brave, courageous and completely selfless of the girls to raise money.

“To make them feel so bad about doing something so worthwhile is pathetic and ridiculous. The way the school has handled this has been atrocious.”

Jenny Jones, principal of The St Leonards Academy, said: “While we applaud these girls for their efforts in raising money for charity, we have rules and regulations regarding dress and appearance which apply to all our students.”

To donate to the girls’ fundraising efforts log onto their Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/kierathomas2013.