Leyland schoolgirl Aimee Hale, 14, from Moss Side was placed into isolation at Worden Academy by the school bosses after she had her eyebrows tinted.
The reason? Her new look was deemed “inappropriate” and against school policy.
Outraged by her daughter’s undeserved punishment, mum Kerry, 44, has taken Aimee out of school in protest. “She’s such a quiet, shy girl and she’s never been in any trouble at school before,” said Kerry. “She’s absolutely devastated at what’s happened. I could understand it if she had died her eyebrows pink or something, but they are just a little bit darker than usual.”
Apparently, Aimee decision to tint her eyebrows wasn’t out of a desire to stay up-to-date with the latest beauty trends. According to her mother, Aimee started her eyebrow-tinting sessions three years ago, after she was bullied at school for her naturally white eyebrows.
“Aimee’s natural eyebrows are a pure white and she is very self-conscious about them,” said Kerry. “The eyebrow tinting has given her a real confidence boost and it has really helped with her self-esteem.”
“She’s been bullied before for her appearance and this isn’t going to help. I’m afraid that it’s really going to knock her confidence.”
Yet Aimee’s mother did admit that her daughter’s eyebrows were a little darker than usual following her last tinting session.
“To be fair, when she came home from the salon after her treatment, I did think they were a bit darker than usual. But there are other girls walking around the school with slugs for eyebrows. I just can’t understand the school’s logic?”
After learning about the school’s decision to place Aimee in isolation, a “fuming” Kerry pulled her daughter out of school. Moreover, she said she didn’t intend to allow Aimee to go back until the punishment was lifted, especially given its severity.
She said: “Detention would have been more than sufficient, but isolation? I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing when she came home in tears and told me everything that had happened.”
Kerry also demanded a meeting with Worden Academy headteacher Chris Catherall, but this didn’t help to lift the punishment.
“But they stood by their decision and just said it was school policy. When I pointed out that there is nothing in the policy about beauty treatments, his response was, ‘Well, we can’t put everything in the policy’.”
Worden Academy’s dress code policy states that “facial hair must be neat and look smart at all times” and “no colorings to hair should be worn.” It also emphasizes that only “the pupil’s natural hair colour” is permitted, and “no make-up, false lashes/nails, false tan or temporary or permanent body art is permitted.”
Following the meeting with the headteacher and deputy head, Kerry was informed that Aimee will be welcomed back into the classroom once her eyebrow color was restored, a beauty treatment that would cost Kerry a further £25.
Kerry, who suffers from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, depression and anxiety, said she cannot afford to pay for the necessary treatment.
“We are dependent on my disability benefits to make ends meet, so I can’t just splash out more money to restore her eyebrows to their natural color.”
She also expressed fear over being fined for keeping Aimee home from school.
“I’m also stressed at the fact that I will probably get fined because she’s not in school. All this stress and worry because of a pair of eyebrows. What are they thinking?”
Kerry has already submitted a letter of objection to Worden Academy’s board of governors and is currently awaiting their decision. However, she was adamant that Aimee would not be returning to school until the punishment was lifted.
When approached for comment, Chris Catherall, headteacher at Worden Academy, said: “At Worden we try our best to treat all our students as fairly as possible and we understand that our students often feel that they want to follow fashion trends.”
“Aimee is a very likeable student and it is to her and her mum’s credit that following discussions the eyebrows did appear lighter,” he continued.
“We are always grateful for the support that we get from home and try our best to discuss in a mutually beneficial way any disagreements we may have. ”
“It is our fervent hope that by working together, parents, staff and students we are able maintain our common focus.”