A teenager has been placed in isolation at school in a stand-off over a pair of false eyelashes.
Chelsea Silk, 14, was was “left in tears” when a member of staff at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy stood over her in the toilets until she took off the accessories.
Chelsea was sent home over the confrontation and since that day, Wednesday July 7, she has been placed in isolation every day that she has turned up to school wearing the eyelashes.
But her mum, Angela Jackson, is adamant that she won’t back down over what she calls “Lashgate”
Speaking to the Daily Star, Angela said that her daughter has been “banned from all practical activities, including science, home economics and physical education” until she agrees to remove the eyelashes.
“It’s a lot of fuss over nothing,” she said, adding that the lashes are “just an enhancement of Chelsea’s natural beauty” and aren’t intrusive or distracting.
The school’s uniform policy states that if girls wear that make-up, it should be kept to a minimum and only neutral tones used. Artificial nails and gels are also banned, which Angela agrees “makes sense” but there’s no clear guidance on eyelashes.
Angela has two other children at the school as well a son who left last year, says: “I have never had any complaints about Chelsea over anything else.
“She can see the board to learn,” explains Angela, “she can see her books to learn. And it’s not as if they’re distracting… I’d see their point if she had 666 tattooed on her head,” she adds.
Angela points out that other girls had the school are wearing false eyelashes and it’s a point of principle with her that Chelsea should not be “singled out”.
She adds that while Chelsea is a naturally beautiful girl and doesn’t actually need to wear the lashes, she’s at an age where “young girls are defining themselves and working out who they want to be” and experiment with their appearance is part of that.
The rules are being “made up as they go along,” she says.
Angela adds that that as long as her daughter is kept in isolation she will be missing out on vital preparation for next year’s GCSE exams, and that “she’s already missed the better part of a year’s education through lockdown”.
"What if, god forbid, she had alopecia?" Angela says, "would she be allowed to wear a wig? Soem young girls get breast cancer and need a mastectomy. Will they ban prosthetics?"
She says she isn't going to stop her daughter wearing the eyelashes "as long as she wants to".
Deputy head Mari Roberts told the Swindon Advertiser: “The school is aware that the mother does not support us right now, but we have spent time working with her and her daughter to de-escalate the situation.
"We provide stability and consistency for our students and families in a time of Covid instability. The majority of our parent body support us, making us an extremely popular school."
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