THE furious parents of two schoolgirls have pulled their daughters out of classes after they were put in "isolation" for having their hair braided.
Mount Carmel High School students Lisa Yates and Julia Creamer thought their plaits - put in while on holiday in Spain - would conform to school rules, as they only covered the fringe of their hair. But to their amazement the 15-year-olds were ordered out of normal classes, despite it being the last week of term and today being a non-uniform day.
Instead they were ordered to follow the Head of Year all day and made to eat their lunches in the office under supervision.
The two friends had paid for the plaits out of their holiday money while on a two-week trip to the Costa Brava with Lisa's parents, Carol and Anthony, of Dorchester Avenue, Oswald-twistle.
Carol said: "The school has completely over-reacted and I'm furious. As soon as Lisa phoned to tell me what had happened I went straight up there and took her home. I was in tears.''
The youngsters had been concerned about breaching school rules but she had told them it would not be a problem so long as they restricted the plaits to their fringes.
She added: "It's tidy and neat. The school said it's a distraction, but it keeps the hair out of their faces. Apparently, braiding is not allowed, but to me that is not braiding - braiding is a full head of plaits. They even had it done in the school colours of blue and yellow."
Claiming the trouble at school had marred a fantastic holiday, Carol went on: "They never have their hair in a mess for school and they are good kids. They've never been told off for anything before. You can understand rules to look smart but this is ridiculous."
Julia's mum, Nadine, of White Ash Lane, Oswaldtwistle, said she thought the school had been hard on the girls, particularly as it was so close to the end of term.
Explaining Julia had been left extremely upset by the incident, she added: "The summer holidays start next week and, by the time they go back, the plaits will be out. They only had a week left. The plaits cost them 40 euros so understandably they don't want to take them out."
Mount Carmel headteacher, Miss Katrina Ryan, said: "Our policy is very clear. It's published in the parents' handbook that we don't allow any extremes of hairstyle whatsoever. The girls said when they were on holiday they would get into trouble for this. They knew it would be the case.
"Parents want high standards from the school, which is why we are oversubscribed. They want us to adhere to strict codes when it comes to dress so that's where we stand on this.''
The two girls did not return to school for the remainder of the week.