Parent's horror as headteacher says their son's hairstyle is 'associated with drug taking'

(16 ratings)
Mandy Head ponytail letter
We all know school uniform is an important part of school life, but dress codes seem to be getting stricter and stricter these days - and now it seems even a ponytail can cause controversy between parents and teachers!

Mother Mandy Head was shocked to receive this letter from the headteacher of her son's school after Joe, aged 11, wore a small ponytail in an attempt to imitate the style of footballer, Zlatan Ibrahimovich.

Image: Mandy Head

Mandy shared the letter on her Facebook page, with the caption 'REALLY !!!', and the story quickly went viral.

She said that initially she found the letter 'so ridiculous' that it was almost funny, but was upset when she realised the connotations the headteacher had drawn from her son's hairstyle.

'I became upset that she could associate drug-taking and my son in the same letter and it became offensive,' she explained.

'I'm not aware of any rules for hair at the school.

'We will discuss it with them, but they didn't have to add drug-taking into the letter.'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the footballer whose hair Joe was trying to copy. You can see Joe's hairstyle on the BBC website.

Despite their surprise at the tone of the letter, Joe's parents did ensure that he went to school without the ponytail the following day, as requested in the letter.

The school has since apologised for any offence caused, with the headteacher saying:

'The school sent a polite request to Joseph's parents regarding his appearance.

'I'm sorry if this letter has caused any unintended upset and would be happy to discuss it with the parents directly.'

So - should schools be able to dictate children's hairstyles?

We asked you on Facebook, and here's what you had to say...

Julie Elizabeth Nope! Unless for cooking science or PE then all they can ask is long hair is tied back, otherwise kids should be allowed to express themselves however they please.

Mel Beard No way. It's best for kids to experiment when they're young!

Katronna Barrie For some practical subjects long hair should be tied back.

Elaine Guymer No, it has no reflection on learning.

It seems that most mums are in agreement with Mandy - but what do you think?

Continued below...


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Well spotted. Hoist with my own petard.


You have the same problem. 'Preach' is the correct spelling


Burser? Peacocking superiority doesn't mean drug-taking


Was it your hairstyle that affected your spelling? ( "Dose", "THERE ability" and "preach")


As a former school burser, I know that fashion trends in schools are disruptive with children more interested in their appearance than school work. School uniform ensures that all children are equal and no one is 'signalled out' for being different - either better off or poorer. The same applies to hairstyles - such trends tend to be 'better off children' who 'peacock' their superiority.


I didn't realise their was a hair code to be a drug user. Should this info be sent to FIFA? Matches could become rather light if we got rid of all through long haired drug addicts playing in the premier league alone. Absolutely rediculas statement from this head


schools seem to be obsessed with appearance if it dose not affect there ability to learn what's the problem need to get priorities in order they are there to learn about time teachers learnt to teach rather than preach


Hmmmm....the school's motto appears to be "learning in the light of Christ".....I believe that JC is usually depicted with flowing locks rather than a short back and sides......


It would be interesting to know if girls are allowed to have similar ponytails. I suspect that they are - discrimination!


I wasn't aware that drug users had a particular hairstyle. Why couldn't this teacher just be truthful and admit "I don't like your son's hairstyle!"

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