Mum considers declaring eight-year-old son 'non-binary' so he can keep his long hair at school

15 January 2020, 16:01

Farouk James has become famous for his long hair
Farouk James has become famous for his long hair. Picture: Instagram/Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

A mother has said she may have to declare son as legally non-binary so he doesn't have to cut off his long locks.

Farouk James, eight, has made a name for himself on social media thanks to his amazing long hair.

The school boy has even walked runways in New York and Florence, with more than 260,000 followers on Instagram.

But as he prepares to move on to secondary school, his mum Bonnie Miller has revealed his three top choices actually ban boys from having long hair.

Many secondary schools across the country have policies which don’t allow boys to grow their hair, something which Bonnie has branded ‘discriminatory’.

The 41-year-old told “It’s not just for him it’s for lots of boys. I’ve had parents calling me saying how traumatising it’s been for their child who’s been forced to cut their hair in Year 6.”

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“Some of the children are just devastated. They’re going into secondary school. It’s enough pressure as it is.”

Bonnie, who is a photographer from Fulham, west London, said she began contacting nearby schools years ago as she knew there would be a problem with her son’s hair.

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After becoming fed up with their responses, Bonnie's even considered taking drastic action, as she went on: “Applying for a mixed school, I may just put him down as non-binary.

“I have been trying to think of loopholes, and think how can I get him in.”

She went on to compare asking boys to cut their hair, to ‘joining the military’, adding: “It’s just not good for their mental health, I can’t see how it is a positive thing. I just can’t believe this old Victorian law is still a part of school policies.”

Following the outrage, the single mum has now launched a petition calling for boys to be treated the same as girls when it comes to school policies.

It states: "In a world where people are so scared to be themselves and individual, I wholeheartedly supported his confidence in being different and thought how amazing it would be if he could encourage the same confidence in others.

"I believe it is teaching our children sexism from a very young age. When you teach the young this unequal behaviour is acceptable today, you prevent a more tolerant world for tomorrow.”

"In a just world, people should be judged on the content of their character and NOT on their appearance."