The woman’s son came home from school crying. The woman was angry. She had no idea why this was happening.
It wasn’t the first time either. And it was all about the boy’s hair. The school threatened drastic measures would be taken if the mother didn’t comply. They had no idea what she had in store for them.
Bonnie James took care of her son Farouk and his older brother by herself for over a decade. As a single mother, she faced many difficulties and always fought for her children.
Bonnie also wanted to give her boys the best education possible. But it was more difficult than she expected to do so for her younger boy. And the reason for that was very unusual.
Farouk had very interesting hair. Part of the reason for that was his ethnicity, but also the way his mother decided to stylize his hair. All in all, the boy had a very unique look.
Everyone from their circle praised the boy’s hair, but it would eventually lead to problems. Unexpected difficulties would befall the family because of Farouk’s hair.
Some schools in the UK, even in the public system, have very strict rules when it comes to their student’s wardrobe and style.
Farouk’s hair was apparently causing him problems, and his mother had issues enrolling him in certain schools. Some institutions rejected his application immediately when they saw how he looked. Bonnie was outraged.
This wasn’t the first time Bonnie had faced such an issue. It happened many years ago with her older son, who was now 23 years old. One of the schools that refused to enroll Farouk in classes was The London Oratory School. Although Bonnie’s other child, her 23-year-old son, attended the school when he was Farouk’s age, the institution refused to let Farouk in class.
As it turned out, the London Oratory School had a problem with her other son’s hair while taking classes there. They warned Bonnie that she had cut the boy’s hair “too short.” Now her younger son is prevented from learning because his hair is “too long.” At that point, it started to feel more like a personal attack against her family than a mere school policy.
Farouk James didn’t look like the kind of kid you’d think would get in trouble in school. He was a kind, eight-year-old boy with a big heart and a lot of love to give to those around him.
When Bonnie saw him come home from school crying, it broke her heart. He didn’t do anything wrong, and yet he was punished by the administrators.
The school that finally accepted the boy kept making threats saying that the mother should change her boy’s hairstyle or there would be dire consequences.
Bonnie was stuck. She didn’t know what to do next and how to deal with the situation. She wanted to keep her ground, but at the same time, she wanted her son to get a good education. What could she do?
Thanks to his unique hairstyle, along with his dedication, hard work, and personality, Farouk James managed to build a career in child modeling with the help of his mother.
He could lose everything if he followed the school rules and changed his hairstyle. His mother was close to a breakdown. She didn’t know how to proceed.
The school didn’t want to compromise in any way. The principal kept saying that rules are rules and everyone should follow them or suffer the consequences.
The administration was set on making the mother change her son’s hairstyle so it would comply with their institution’s code. What could the mother do to please the school while keeping her son’s personal style untouched?
This was the final warning. The school was adamant about Farouk following the rules and adjusting his hairstyle. Even if that meant ruining his career as a model.
Bonnie reached her breaking point. She realized that enough was enough. If she didn’t do anything soon, her entire family would suffer greatly. As a mother, she couldn’t accept that.
The main reason the school wouldn’t accept Farouk was that his hair was too long. That was it. They’ve made such a huge deal about it and wouldn’t take the boy for such a petty reason.
Bonnie knew her son deserved better treatment and vowed to do something about it. But what could she do?
The school eventually launched an attack on James and kicked him out of the educational program because the boy had long hair.
His mother was shocked to learn that her little boy was not allowed to get his education because his hair was big and broke the school’s old rules. This meant that they might have no choice but opt for homeschooling.
The mother went on a crusade to get the school to update its out-of-date policy so her son could learn alongside his friends in class and change their minds.
Bonnie James was a strong believer in following your dreams, and she would not allow her son’s hair to hold him back from achieving his goals. She had already started making steps toward changing the school’s policy so that boys like Farouk could get an education without having their hair affect them negatively.
With such important work being done, Farouk and his mother were honored with the ‘People’s Award for Courage’ by L’Oreal Paris UK. This was a huge achievement not only for Farouk but also for children who might be dealing with similar issues at school.
Bonnie James remains optimistic that things will work out eventually. She knows her son is an intelligent boy who wants to learn, and she does not want his hair to hold him back from living the life he deserves.
After she shared her story on social media, Bonnie James also appeared on television, sharing her experience with millions of people.
Days after her appearance, her story went viral on social media. Everyone supported her and agreed that the school’s policy was not only outdated but discriminatory. People hoped things would change soon, for everyone’s sake. In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.