A 13-year-old girl was threatened with exclusion after she went to school with winged eyeliner on.
Lexi Pickerill enjoys expressing her “alternative” style by wearing dramatic eye makeup to her classes.
But the teenager was put into isolation at The Orme Academy, in Wolstanton, Staffs., for breaking the school uniform policy on Wednesday (June 6).
Her mum, who wishes to remain anonymous, has since accused the school of “discrimination”.
She thinks it’s unfair that other pupils are permitted to wear foundation, contouring and drawn on eyebrows.
And the parent also supported her daughter's decision to walk out of school yesterday after she was given a second day of isolation.
The mum told StokeonTrentLive: "Lexi is more alternative in her style.
"She doesn't wear any foundation, she just like to put on eye shadow and winged eyeliner. But she keeps getting pulled up at school for it because there is a rule of only minimal and natural make up.
"But there is a trend at the moment with girls who wear heavy make up with really thick, drawn on eyebrows and contouring and they aren't asked to remove theirs. I see them walking to the school like that every day.
"So Lexi refused to remove the eyeliner and unfortunately she was put into reflection, which is another word for isolation, all day. I gave her consent that if they try to put her in isolation again to walk out of school.
"Then yesterday morning as soon as she got to the school gates the teachers told her to remove her makeup. Lexi asked the teacher 'what about all the other girls that have lots of makeup?'. She was told that 'nobody has got it on like you’.”
The 36-year-old mum added: "It's OK for the other girls to break the rules because a lot of them are doing it and look the same. But because Lexi does her makeup differently and stands out she is being singled out.
"She refused to remove it again and the teacher said they were looking at exclusion. She then left school and came home.
"They are interrupting her education over something as petty as eyeliner.
"She's getting behind because she's missing lessons and being punished for being herself. She's already missed school because of coronavirus."
Lexi’s mum has called for makeup rules to be relaxed so students can express themselves.
She said: The makeup rule is not being followed across the board.
"If they put everyone in isolation for not following the makeup rule it would be the majority of girls in the school, but it's just Lexi being punished.
"They are stopping kids from expressing their identities. The school talks about mental health and teaching people to be yourself but then they are removing things that are part of who they are.
"There's no health and safety risk when wearing eyeliner, but they are affecting my daughter's mental health by dictating what she can and can't wear.
"I think pupils should be allowed to express themselves as long as it's not affecting their learning or health and safety. I don't see why there's a problem.”
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She added: "We're in the 21st century, but the school is going backwards instead of forwards.
"Lexi is a very caring child, with brilliant manners, she tries her best in school and should be seen as a good example. But because she's different they don't want that, they want her to look exactly the same as everyone else.
"The school is absolutely terrible and they need to realise the impact they can have on students' mental health.
"I've brought it up to the school on numerous occasions, but I just get told that I signed a contract when I signed her up for the school."
Lexi added: "I feel like the teachers single me out. It makes me unhappy."
Mark Boughey, principal at The Orme Academy, said: "We have high and clear expectations here at The Orme Academy that we apply consistently to all students.
"It would be inappropriate to comment on individual students."
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