Niamh donated hair to the Little Princess Trust, who produce wigs for children fighting illness.
“I’ve been thinking about shaving my hair for the best part of a year now,” Niamh said. “It upsets me that at 14 years of age, I’ve had hair my whole life, yet there are young children aged less than 10-years-old without hair.
The teen explained what happened when she returned to Mounts Bay Academy after the holiday and she said it makes her feel like what she did was wrong.
“The school didn’t like it, they instantly put me in isolation without letting me explain in any detail why I shaved my hair,” Niamh said. “To be honest, with the way the school reacted, they made me feel as if I’d done a bad thing. I knew I hadn’t, but I was being punished for a charitable act.”
Her mother Anneka posted the story on Facebook and immediately her post started to gain some traction.
People, for the most part, were very supportive of Niamh and feel the school jumped to conclusions and should have spoken to her first.
A small percentage sympathize with Mounts Bay, citing “rules are rules.” However, it’s Mount Bay’s reaction that is causing an outrage in the Cornwall, England community.
Listening to Niamh Baldwin playing guitar and singing , incredible , I think how incredibly luck i am to have the…
Speaking to Cornwall Live about the incident, principal Sara Davey defended the school over Niamh’s punishment.
“The policy on extreme haircuts in school is very clear and has been published in our behavior policy for many years,” Davies said. “Extreme haircuts including head shaving have never been allowed and this is common for schools across the UK. All students know that this is the school policy and they also know that the consequence is to complete school work in the inclusion room until the hair grows so that is it no longer extreme.
“If Niamh had asked the school about shaving her hair for charity then this would have been pointed out and an alternative fundraising idea would have been suggested,” Davies continued.
“I am surprised that the family did not speak to the school about the head shaving before it took place as we could have avoided this situation completely.
“Since returning to school Niamh has had access to her lessons in the inclusion room as we have extensive materials available to students. This includes lesson activities and resources via digital technology,” Davies added.
“The family had every opportunity to contact the school about their actions before Niamh shaved her hair for charity but they for some reason did not do this. Going forward, I will speak to Niamh’s mother on Monday to try to resolve the situation to everyone’s satisfaction so that Niamh can return to lessons as soon as possible.
“It would be reasonable in the circumstances to suggest that Niamh wears a headscarf until her hair grows sufficiently, for example.”
Anneka says her daughter gets exceptional grades and is constantly complimented by her teachers for being kind and a lovely young lady. She doesn’t believe the length of her daughter’s hair will change any of that.