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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

8-Year Old Boy Banned From Private Schools in London Because of His Hair

Farouk James

Nationwide — Farouk James, an 8-year old boy from London, is not being allowed to attend several schools in the city because of his long, natural hair. His mother, Bonnie Miller, has since been advocating for his son and others who are experiencing discrimination based on hair.

Farouk, whose father is from Ghana, has been growing his natural hair for years. Due to cultural reasons, his parents didn’t cut his hair until he was at age 3.

“At that point he was attached — and so was I, to be honest — with his beautiful hair,” Bonnie told CBS News. “We just kept the hair.”

Bonnie has been looking for a private secondary school for her son when she first found out that two of the schools of her choice wouldn’t allow her son to attend because of his hair.

Bonnie first considered inquiring at The London Oratory School, where her older son who is now-23-years old attended and had issues for very short hair. She thought that because years have already passed, the school might have changed its strict policies. But she found out that it didn’t and Farouk’s long hair violated the school’s policy as well.

Bonnie then thought of Fulham Boys School, which changed their policies after another mother filed a lawsuit when her son was banned from the school because of his locks. But upon reading the school policies that stated “the maximum hair length is above the collar and the minimum hair length is a number 2 cut,” Miller knew her son’s long hair was still against it.

“It had been changed, but what they’ve done is added two racist policies: one, no dreadlocks and two, no braids,” Miller said.

Almost running out of options, Miller decided to look into co-ed schools also, but they too have strict policies too

Most recently, Miller started lobbying houses of parliament to help her reach out to schools and have their rules changed, not just in the U.K. but globally.

“It’s against human rights to ask someone to take part of their natural body away to appease society’s expectations of what you should be,” Miller said.

Moreover, Miller is proud that even though other people are making fun of his son, he is still very confident with his natural looks. James has over 280,000 followers on Instagram and Miller hopes that his presence on social media could serve as a platform for change.