A British teen has been barred from attending class with his peers after he shaved his head to raise money for cancer research.
Taylor Jones, 15, returned to school in Cornwall, England, after the Easter holiday only to be told his shaved head constituted an “extreme hairstyle,” according to BBC News.
According to his parents, Jones started growing his hair months ago after a friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He planned to cut the hair and raise money for Cancer Research UK. According to the Telegraph, Jones raised 850 pounds when he finally did shave his locks.
But while shaving one’s head, especially for cancer research and cancer patients, has become a common form of charity in recent years, Jones’s school, Launceston College, did not see it that way. After he returned to class this past week, Jones was placed in a “Exclusion Room,” according to the Telegraph. While he will receive personal tutoring during that time, he will not be allowed to interact with his classmates during breaks, mealtimes or classes.
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BBC News reports that the school’s principal, Bryan Maywood, said Jones will be allowed to rejoin the rest of the school after four days.
“After this period his hair will no longer be considered an extreme hairstyle; he will return to normal lessons,” Maywood said.
“Hair should be a natural colour and worn in a style that does not compromise health or safety. Extreme styles and hair ornaments are not appropriate for College,” the school’s website says.
“(Jones is) nearly 16 so trying to dictate what length his hair should be is a bit ridiculous. They're basically saying if you're bald that's not an acceptable look,” Jones’s father, Nick Jones, told the Telegraph.
“It sounds like a dictatorship to me. It is petty red tape and it's not helping anybody.”
Nick Jones told Cornwall Live that Taylor was warned by teachers before the break that if he shaved his head fully he would be disciplined, but added that he and others considered his son’s hair before it was shaved — wild, bushy and covering his face — to be more extreme.
Since news of Jones’s punishment has made the rounds on social media, his Just Giving page dedicated to raising even more money for cancer research, topping 3,200 pounds as of Thursday afternoon.