London Student Ordered 2 Days in Isolation Because of an ‘Inappropriate Hairstyle’

by Xara Aziz

A Black girl was forced to spend two days in isolation because of an “inappropriate hairstyle,” according to her mother.

Kerry, the mother to Mayla, 13, told BBC that Barr Beacon School, an institution located in London’s outskirts, racially discriminated and singled out her daughter.

She said her daughter was wearing braids with red highlights to attend a wedding. But other students of other races have had their hair dyed without being punished.

The school has since come out to say that it fosters its policy, which is “administered equally to all pupils.”

Matrix Academy Trust, which runs the school, said it was unable to comment, but explained that it has “very high expectations of pupils” and “any pupil with brightly-colored hair will be asked to remove the hair color.”

A spokesperson further added that the school “strongly denied there was any race discrimination.”

Mayla’s isolation caused her to miss lessons and break times, she said, adding that it caused her to stress out.

“I get really stressed out over it,” Mayla said. “They’re telling me to take it out and put my hair in a bobble, but I don’t like it in a bobble.”

Her mother added that it was “not right” and her daughter is “a good child.”

“She gets good grades, she gets good reports, but for two days she’s in isolation [because of her hair],” she said. “It’s absolutely disgusting.”

This is not the first time Mayla was called out because of her hair, she said. In 2022, Kerry said she believed her daughter was a victim of discrimination because of another braided hairstyle she wore to school.

AfroTouch Braiding

Matrix Academy Trust said that in its uniform policy, “hair color and high fashion hairstyles are not permitted.”

But on the second slide of the school’s homepage, a Black student is seen wearing braids down to her waist.

This story is developing.

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