Schoolgirl, 13, ‘isolated and threatened with exclusion’ for wearing eyeliner

Lexi Pickerill describes her style as ‘alternative’ (Picture: BPM Media / The Orme Academy)

A school girl was isolated from her classmates and threatened with exclusion because of her choice of eyeliner.

Lexi Pickerill, 13, who describes her style as ‘alternative’, likes to wear dramatic eye makeup for lessons.

She refused to remove her winged eyeliner during the school day on Wednesday so teachers at The Orme Academy, in the village of Wolstanton, Stafffordshire, decided she should be cut off from her friends.

Her mum says she’s been ‘discriminated’ against as other pupils are allowed to get away with wearing foundation, contouring and drawn-on eyebrows, despite the school’s minimal make-up rule.

When Lexi was put into isolation for a second day in a row yesterday, she walked out – a decision her mum has supported.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘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.

A school put a 13-year-old girl into isolation and threatened her with exclusion after she refused to remove her winged eyeliner. Lexi Pickerill says she has an 'alternative' sense of style and likes to wear dramatic eye makeup for lessons. But the teenager was segregated from her classmates at The Orme Academy, in the village of Wolstanton, Staffs, for breaking the uniform policy on Wednesday (June 6). Lexi with the eyeliner Credit: StokeonTrentLive/BPM

Lexi fears she is being singled out because of her choice of style (Picture: BPM)

‘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.’

She added: ‘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”. 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.’

The Orme Academy in Wolstanton (Picture: The Orme Academy)

The Orme Academy in Wolstanton wouldn’t comment on individual cases (Picture: The Orme Academy)

Lexi’s mum fears the disruption will interfere with her daughter’s education and called the row ‘petty.’

‘She’s getting behind because she’s missing lessons and being punished for being herself. She’s already missed school because of coronavirus,’ she added.

The 36-year-old, from Bradwell, feels the school should allow their pupils to express themselves, but says instead it is run like an ‘army camp’.

‘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,’ she said.

‘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.

Lexi says the school’s ‘unfair’ makeup rules has left her ‘upset’. She added: ‘I feel like the teachers single me out. It makes me unhappy.’

Orme Academy Principal Mark Boughey 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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