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High school's hair policy leaves boy, eight, in limbo

School hair policies are not generally at the forefront of an eight-year-old's mind but they are for Farouk James.

Farouk plans to attend Fulham Boys School for his secondary education but they would require him to cut his hair in order to attend.

Farouk's primary school have never had an issue with his hair but the high school he plans to attend in the coming years has left the eight-year-old and his mother Bonnie Miller worried.

"I am sitting around with mothers who are having coffees and talking about 'my son has done this grade in music', 'have you done the 11 plus?', 'we've got extra tuition for them to make sure they can do the exam and pass'. What's on my mind is 'I've got to cut this boy's hair'," Ms Miller says.

The policy at Fulham Boys School is: "No extreme haircuts including sculpting, shaving, dreadlocks or braiding are allowed."

"I think they're [hair policy] unfair," Farouk says. "If I go to school and I have long hair they will expel me."

Farouk has allowed his hair to grow out. Credit: ITV News

Ms Miller believes this is unfair on demographics who are more inclined to have the aforementioned hairstyles.

"I actually do find that [the policy] racial, as the majority of the time, which young boys are going to be having braids or dreadlocks? It's going to be boys of colour," Ms Miller explains.

Conversely, the school's headmaster Alun Ebenezer believes their policy creates discipline within its students.

"We think that young men should have hair that is no long than your collar and no shorter than a number two," Mr Ebenezer says.

"It teaches them discipline and, like I say, you come to school and no one is standing out for those reasons. And you don't know who are the 'haves' and the 'have nots'."

Bonnie Miller, Farouk's mother, says she will fight the school. Credit: ITV News

Mr Ebunezer advises those who feel they cannot adhere to the policy to not attend to the school, denying that the rule is racist.

"There's lots of choice of schools in London that people if they don't want that culture - don't come.

"And we're not forcing that culture on anyone. We're not saying 'this is what we're about, anyone and everyone is welcome, so it's definitely not racist.

"White boys have dreadlocks as well. We've got the same hair policy, uniform policy for all the different boys who come to our school.

"I'm interested to know why people want to come to the school, so they can't pick and choose the bits you want.

"Yeah but you can keep your natural hairstyle while keeping it no long than the collar and no shorter than number two."

In 2018 the school was taken to court after a boy with dreadlocks was told to cut them off or face suspension. The matter was settled between the school and family.

Bonnie also intends to fight until the Government forces schools to change their policy.