School uniform policy is under scrutiny once again as an individual case from a boys school in Fulham is making headlines.
Tuesday Flanders, from London, runs a strict Rastafarian household and insists she is firm with her children when it comes to their education.
But her 12-year-old son Chikayzea was pulled out of class and put in isolation on his first day at the prestigious Fulham Boys School because of what teachers deemed to be breaking the strict dress code.
Both Tuesday and Chikayzea appeared on This Morning to discuss their altercation with the school, where Chikayzea is desperate to attend.
Images: ITV/This Morning
‘Where we come from, we as a people need to identify [as Rastafarians]’, she explained of her family’s strong faith. ‘People have a stigma about rastas, that they stay home smoke weed all the time. In my household we don’t touch the stuff.
‘It’s a religion and culture. We can put it in a religious format but in our culture, this is how they wear their hair.’
Explaining that the school had every opportunity to raise the issue of Chikayzea’s hair before his first day, she said: ‘I had no conversation with the school about my sons hair, because in my opinion it wasn’t an issue. I went to several meetings with the school and brought my son with me. I had a conversation with the headmaster, he shook my hand, my boys hand, and welcomed us to the school.’
Tuesday calls herself a strict mum, and says that she had followed procedures correctly in trying to smooth out the issue.
In response, the headmaster of the school, Alun Enbnezer, released a statement to Metro when contacted for comment.
‘We are very clear what the school is about. Boys have to conform to uniform and appearance policy. Boys are told to cut their hair or grow their hair. All boys need to follow and adhere to the school policy,’ it read.
‘At the moment we are treating this as a social issue. I have seen no tenets that you have to have dreadlocks.’
This Morning viewers on Twitter are divided over the segment, with many commenting that Chikayzea seemed to be a very polite and well put together young boy.
‘Surely education is more important, he is dressed smart, you can tell he comes from a respected family, hair is tied,’ said one commenter, whilst another agreed: ‘Absolutely ridiculous, well dressed boy & hair very tidy, it’s all about learning & alienating him is terribly sad, change your rules!’
‘Absolutely wrong!’ said another. ‘He should be encouraged to be proud of his culture and ethnicity; his hair is an aspect of that – not made to be ashamed.’
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But some weren’t so convinced, with one user arguing, ‘Not sure what I think, more and more rules are having to be flexible, where does it end? Rules are rules? In this case its handled badly…’.
Another said: ‘Rules are rules and he lives in Britain and it’s not our culture!’
What’s your take? Let us know in the comment section below!