Parents 'disgusted' after school bans boy, 11, from wearing his hair in ponytail

A school has been accused of sexual discrimination for telling an 11-year-old boy he could not wear his hair in a ponytail.

Tyler Brown, who started at Alder Community High School in Hyde, Greater Manchester, last week, was told to take his hair out of the band that was holding it back, leaving it to flop down onto his face.

Parents Rachael Howard and Robert Brown said they are ‘disgusted’ and questioned why girls are allowed to have ponytails while boys are not.

Robert, 36, admitted that he and Tyler’s mum were apprehensive about their son’s style decision but feel the school have ‘belittled’ him and made him a target for bullies.

He said: ‘Me and his mum did try to talk him out of it at first and with him starting a new school we didn’t want him to become a target among the kids, especially as he doesn’t know many of them yet.

‘But then we decided it’s his choice and we shouldn’t take that away from him. He wants it to look like Thor’s hair in Marvel Avengers but it’s not long enough yet.

‘He’s in all the right uniform, they’re taking away his own rights.’

Tyler’s parents believe that if it was a girl who wanted a short back and sides ‘it would be allowed’ .

The defiant couple sent him back to school the next day with his hair up.

They claim he was promised he wouldn’t be made to take out his bobble for photos that were taking place that day. However, the headteacher approached Tyler again and told him to remove it.

Mum Rachael, 33, claimed that when Tyler asked whether he could call his parents, he was told no.

She added: ‘When my son asked why he couldn’t wear his hair in a ponytail, the headteacher responded by saying “If you don’t like the rules move schools.”‘

Tyler hasn’t attended school for two days since the row.

In a Facebook post, Rachael blasted the school’s ruling, saying: ‘First of all that is sexual discrimination, you are stereotyping my son to say you’re a boy and should have short hair and girls should have long hair.

‘It’s 2020 and we teach our children to be open and diverse with their
gender and lifestyle and this is not OK!!!!! This is a school claiming
to support LGBT and gender diversity, yet they made my son feel
embarrassed, singled out and a target for bullies on his third day at
school.’ has contacted Alder Hay Community High for comment.

The school lays out its policy on hair on their website.

It states ‘extreme hairstyles’ are not allowed, such as a shaved style less than #2, shaved patterns, ‘skinhead’, ‘mohican’ and ‘top knot’.

It continues: ‘Longer hair should be tied back for practical lessons, with a plain hairband. Girls may wear a plain black headscarf (if applicable – no tassels, lace or fringe of any type and small enough to be tucked into the shirt so the tie can be
clearly seen).’

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