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Bullied Teen Told To Cut Hair

unhappy teenagerYet school fails to address underlying issues.

We are often told that boys of black heritage are failing at school but is it any wonder when some schools focus on trivial matters and fail to notice the more serious problems staring them in the face?

When 16 year-old Sam Grant was being racially taunted at school he came up with the idea of growing long hair. He figured the bullies would switch their attention to his hair and leave off the racist remarks that were making him so unhappy.

'It's easier and friendlier for people to comment on my hair and call me 'mophead' or something like that rather than derogatory names,' said Sam. 'I'm mixed-race and I found that having longer hair ended remarks of a racist nature.'

Growing his hair may have ended having to listen to derogatory names but that was not the end of his problems. In March 2005, Sam and a number of other boys were told to get their hair cut, when Sam refused he was suspended from Sir Thomas Rich School in Gloucester.

Sam's father solicitor Stephen Grant said he was shocked. 'The reaction of the school was just ridiculous and we were totally shocked at its inflexibility and failure to engage in meaningful debate about the underlying issues.'

'I understand they have school rules but to suspend him from coming back to school unless he cut his hair was draconian. Pupils committing acts of theft and damage received less severe disciplinary sanctions.'

Stephen grant applied for an injunction blocking the suspension and as part of the proceedings both parties agreed to mediation which resulted in Sam being allowed to finish his GCSEs.

A spokeswoman for Sir Thomas Rich School said she could not comment under the terms of an agreement reached on the case with the family.

What is interesting is that the school offered no alternative solutions to the problem of racist bullying that Sam had endured. Sam has since left the school and plans to study for his A-levels at another location, the racist bullies remain.

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