School Sent 13-Year-Old Girl Home Because Of Her Leopard Print Hair Cut


Lauren Mcdowell, 13, has her head shaved on one side and dyed brown and blonde in the pattern of a leopard’s fur. On her first day of the new term, Forge Valley School in Sheffield, she was told to leave classes.

The school says it has a ‘very clear uniform policy’ which includes hairstyles, but Lauren’s mother, Yvonne, believes it breaches her human rights, and is refusing to change her daughter’s hairstyle.


The mother-of-six said:

‘As far as I’m concerned it’s a breach of my daughter’s human rights. She had the hair cut about a week before she went back to school. No one has the right to tell someone what to do with their body. It is her body. She is my child and not theirs. She didn’t sign away her rights when she started at school.’

‘The school says they encourage children as individuals but this is not supporting her. Lauren has a life outside of school.’ She explained,  ‘Lauren was bullied at school and it has taken her a while to build up her confidence. She is devastated.’

 ‘She loves school. She is not a bad pupil. She works hard. What has her hair got to do with her education?’ Yvonne asks,  ‘I have explained to the school that I can understand its uniform policy and I totally agree with it but you cannot tell anyone how their hair should be styled.’


‘They are discriminating against her because of how she looks. She has the right to express herself in whatever way she wants as long as she is in school uniform.

‘They are refusing my child an education. She was in school wanting to learn.’

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