In a world where teens are doing drugs, getting pregnant, and joining gangs, a British teen has been suspended for five days for wearing makeup. Freya King, 15, was sent home because her eyebrow pencil and foundation were apparently too distracting for other students. And her mother is furious.
Sir Robert Woodard Academy, Freya’s now-former school, states in its dress code that “make-up should be kept to a minimum and natural looking.” To facilitate this, they have “uniform inspections,” where the teachers line students up at the gate to scrupulously inspect students for uniform violations, which doesn’t sound creepy or Orwellian at all.
After wearing “too much” makeup to school, Freya was brought to the office and told that she would be excluded from school. The “terrified” teen was then sent home to her parents, presumably so that they would discipline her. Instead, mother Chrissie King sent a blistering letter to the school.
King is refusing to make Freya change her makeup, as she and her husband both think that the school handled the situation poorly. As she told The Sun, “It’s absolutely ridiculous—five days off from school in such an important year because they think she was wearing too much makeup.”
King believes that the rules about “natural-looking” makeup are subjective, and that subjectivity makes it difficult for students to know how to dress.
“At the moment, different teachers do the checks on different days and most don’t seem to have a problem,” she told The Sun. “It’s the same teachers telling her she is wearing too much makeup each time they do the checks. But there are other girls wearing far more who aren’t questioned.”
King believes it’s particularly unfair because Freya has toned down her look after being asked to in the past. She has since moved her daughter to a school with a more relaxed dress code.
The school stands behind their decision to suspend Freya.
“In a school, rules have to be implemented and observed and while in this case repeated warnings were given, they were constantly ignored,” Sir Robert’s spokesperson told The Sun.
When asked on The View why the school had the rules, headteacher Christine Cunniffe said that makeup “gets in the way of a child’s learning” because they have to be up earlier in the morning to put it on.
No word on whether the school will be banning students from waking up early to play video games, engage with social media, or complete extracurriculars.