Stevenage charity head shave student threatened with lesson ban

Sophia Keam

Sophia Keam - Credit: Archant

A TEENAGER was told she would be banned from attending lessons if she shaved her head to raise money for children with cancer.

Sophia Keam after having her head shaved for charity

Sophia Keam after having her head shaved for charity - Credit: Archant

Sophia Keam, who is a student at Marriotts School in Stevenage, had her head shaved in Stevenage town centre on Saturday to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

But she was told by the acting headteacher of the school in Brittain Way, Geraint Edwards, that she would not be able to go to normal lessons because she would have broken the uniform standard.

Her dad, Steve Keam, told the Comet: “She was naturally very worried about this, but I told her to go into school and just do as she was told to.

“I told her that if she was put into isolation to ask Mr Edwards to put it in writing. But when she went into school on Monday, Mr Edwards told her that she could go to her normal lessons because there was only a week left of school.”

The 14-year-old had written to Mr Edwards to ask if she could have her hair shaved at the school in front of her friends.

Mr Keam, of Bedwell Crescent in Stevenage, said: “Sophia didn’t get a response from Mr Edwards. She had written to him months ago and time was running out. When she approached him to ask if he had made a decision if she could have her hair cut at the school he said he hadn’t made a decision.

Most Read

“So she approached the Stevenage Town Centre Management to ask if she could do it in the town centre.”

Mr Keam said he was very disappointed after he was informed by Sophia’s head of year what the consequence would be if his daughter went to school with her head shaved.

Mr Edwards, who is due to leave his position to move to The Priory School in Hitchin in September, said: “What she has done is a very good thing and for a great cause. However, we do have set standards and rules.

“As a school we were able to accommodate her needs. Her head of year and I had a discussion with her on Friday and were able to be flexible with her in what she wanted.

“We did initially say ‘no’, but later reflected on this and allowed it as long as she did not go totally bald.”

The Year 9 student has raised about £1,300 for the charity.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter