Ruby Williams, a student with natural hair was repeatedly sent home from a UK school because her afro was not in line with the school’s policy.
The Urswick School told Ruby that she had breached the school’s policy, stating “afro style hair must be of reasonable size and length”.
Kate Williams, Ruby’s mum, first noticed this policy on the school’s website after Ruby was first sent home because of her hair.
Unfortunately, this is another example of a school’s unfair policy that hinders children with afro hair from learning. This type of discrimination also affects their mental health.
The Urswick, which is run by the London Diocesan Board for Schools is said to have claimed that Ruby’s hair was blocking other pupils’ view of the whiteboard, and was distracting to other students.
Rightly so, Ruby’s family took legal action against The Urswick School in east London. London Diocesan Board for Schools offered to settle directly to Ruby’s family, without the school accepting liability. As a result, Ruby received £8,500 in an out-of-court settlement.
Ruby, now aged 18, said Richard Brown, the school’s headteacher told her that her hair was “too big”.
Ruby told Radio 1 Newsbeat that UK schools should have:
“better guidelines on their uniform policy so that people can’t be discriminated against when they’re walking into school”.
Ruby also mentioned:
“I’d also like to hope that this story gives confidence to those who might be staying quiet about a similar situation,”
The Urswick School’s governing body told Radio 1 Newsbeat that the school:
“recognises and celebrates diversity at every opportunity”.
“The governing body is hugely distressed if any child or family feels we have discriminated against them,” it told Newsbeat in a statement, adding: “We do not accept that the school has discriminated, even unintentionally, against any individual or group.”
Since Ruby’s family complaints, the school has removed the hair policy from its website.
The school did not accept any liability.