POLICE were called to a school protest over claims that a girl was banned from the classroom for shaving off her hair in memory of a friend who died of cancer, and arrested a teenage boy.
Redcar Academy this morning issued a statement denying that there was any intention to suspend or exclude Mia Flood, 14, from education.
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The Northern Echo understands that Mia was told she would have to wear a wig and some students at the school are still upset about that issue.
A spokesperson for Cleveland Police said: “A 15-year-old boy has been charged with one public order offence in connection with an incident at Redcar Academy earlier today. He is due to appear at Teesside Youth Court on 3rd February."
Mia Flood was close friends with Georgina Anderson, a keen musician at Byedales School, Redcar, who died from an aggressive form of cancer aged 15.
In a statement Redcar Academy said: “It is with great regret that the fund raising event held in memory of Georgina Anderson, raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust has been overshadowed by a distortion of the facts.
“Mia’s parents and Redcar Academy agreed prior to the event held on Saturday, January 18 on arrangements for her education should she choose to have her head shaved. At no point did Redcar Academy intend to suspend or exclude Mia from education.
“The Academy has supported fund raising for the Teenage Cancer Trust by hosting events in school, promoting the download of the Georgina Anderson single before Christmas, and widely promoting Saturday’s event."
As part of the same press release, Mia's mother Dawn Flood said: “This was never about my daughter or Redcar Academy, it was always about raising funds in Georgina’s memory. I am saddened that due to exaggeration and inaccuracies in the press that my family and Redcar Academy have received unnecessary attention from the local media.”
However Shanece Bennett, 15, who spoke to The Northern Echo with permission from her mother, said: “We are protesting because Redcar Academy have excluded a student, Mia Flood, for shaving their hair for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
“The teachers have been out in the yard trying to get us in but we’ll stay out all day until they let her back into school.
“She told us personally that she is not allowed back into school until she has a wig because her shaved head is classed as an extreme hairstyle.”