Northern Ireland

Mum takes on Enniskillen school over haircut punishment

Henry Miskimmin Image copyright Sandra Miskimmin
Image caption Henry Miskimmin had his hair cut on Thursday evening and says he was put in isolation on Friday and Monday

A mother has launched a scathing attack on her son's school for putting him in isolation over a haircut it said portrayed the wrong image.

Self-confessed "overprotective mummy" Sandra Miskimmin said 14-year-old Henry's punishment meant he could not interact with his friends for two days.

Enniskillen Royal Grammar School said it was an internal school matter.

"We are dealing with the parent concerned who contacted us this morning," said the principal.

Mrs Miskimmin said Henry was put in a separate room from his classmates and sent on his lunch break outside of the normal hours.

She also said the school did not tell her Henry was being punished, calling it "a form of bullying".

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Media captionSandra Miskimmin took to Facebook to say the school's treatment of her son was "a form of bullying"

"When Henry came home from school on Friday after getting a haircut on Thursday - which I approved of - he said that he had been put into isolation away from his friends all day because it wasn't the image that the school wanted to portray to the public," She told BBC's Talkback programme.

"When he came home from the barbers on Thursday he went: 'Mummy it's quite short.'

"I said: 'No, sweetheart, it's fine.'"

'Short-back-and-sides'

"He does get his hair cut shorter during the school holidays, but I don't allow him to get it cut too short during the school term because we support the rules that the school enforce," said Mrs Miskimmin.

"I am quite a strict parent and his hair, in my opinion, was not offensive or inappropriate.

Image copyright Sandra Miskimmin
Image caption Mrs Miskimmin admits to being 'quite strict' and says Henry always looks 'impeccable' when going to school

"He has what a lot of people would describe as short-back-and-sides. It doesn't look untidy it is clean and neat."

On Monday, after Henry spent a second day in isolation, Mrs Miskimmin decided to take to social media to ask the opinion of her friends.

She said she wanted to make sure she wasn't just being an "overprotective mummy" and said she was "overwhelmed" by the response a picture of Henry's haircut received on social media.

Mrs Miskimmin said she was unhappy with the affect that isolation could have on Henry, who is in one of his GCSE years.

"He isn't being taught and is missing out on valuable school time," she said.

Henry had no previous history of disciplinary issues at the school, she said, adding that he looks "impeccable" when he goes out.

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