When This Girl Came Home From School With Shorter Hair, Her Mom Learned The Cruel Reason For The Cut

Parents can sometimes be caught off-guard by their children following a long day at school. Samantha Fleming can certainly attest to that, as her daughter returned home from class with shorter hair in June 2018. However, the concerned mom then learned the cruel reasons behind the trim.

A resident of Derby, England, Fleming lives in the residential suburb of Chaddesden with her three children. However, the 34-year-old’s life changed forever following the birth of her daughter, Melissa Booth, who was quickly diagnosed with a rare medical condition known as microcephaly.

When she was born, Melissa’s head was smaller than it should have been as a result of the improper development of her brain. Since then, the youngster has struggled with the disability. As such, Fleming described the issues that her daughter has faced in more recent times.

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“Melissa’s got a processing issue, which affects how she programs her brain,” Fleming told the Derby Telegraph newspaper in June 2018. “Just six months ago she was struggling to put any sentences together. She is only just starting to string [together] sentences now. She’s also got a lot of hearing problems, which affect her behavior.”

Despite those issues, though, Melissa started going to school in September 2017. Indeed, the disabled youngster attended Cherry Tree Hill Primary School as a reception student, the year below the U.K.’s equivalent of kindergarten. However, in the months that followed, Fleming picked up on a recurring problem.

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At the start of that school year, Melissa had very long hair, but as time went on it got shorter and shorter. As it turned out, the five-year-old’s locks were being snipped by bullies, which prompted Fleming to contact the principal. Unfortunately, though, that didn’t put a stop to the haircuts, culminating in another incident in June 2018.

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At that point, Fleming had had enough, venting her frustration to the media. “Melissa started her new school in September 2017 and she has come home with her hair cut six times so far,” she told the Derby Telegraph. “It has happened every few months.”

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“The first time it happened, the school spoke to the children about how dangerous scissors are,” Fleming continued. “Then, after it happened again in February [2018], I spoke to the head teacher, who said he would keep a close eye out for it. But now it has happened yet again, and I am not happy about it.”

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On that note, Fleming then touched on her daughter’s disability, revealing that her hair takes longer to grow as a result. “In September her hair was half way down her back,” she said. “No matter how many times it has happened, nothing serious has been done about it. Due to Melissa’s health issues, her hair doesn’t grow back very well.”

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“Every time it has been cut, I have to cut off another one to two inches to get it straight again. [And] it takes a while to grow back,” Fleming added. However, the mom-of-three also believes that Melissa’s microcephaly has inadvertently played a key role in this ongoing problem as well.

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“I think because of [Melissa’s] condition she gets in with the wrong crowd, as she doesn’t understand the difference between what is naughty and what is good,” Fleming suggested. From there, though, she shifted her focus back to the school, offering a potential solution to the problem.

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However, despite the mom-of-three’s best efforts, that particular suggestion went unheeded. “This is an ongoing problem. The bullies used school scissors to cut Melissa’s hair,” Fleming told the Derby Telegraph. “I asked the school if they could put the scissors away, but their response was that the children need them for their education.”

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As tensions continued to rise, Fleming then took matters into her own hands after a further incident on on June 19, 2018. “Yesterday Melissa went to school with her hair a lot longer than it was when I picked her up,” she recalled. “So, when I picked her up we went straight back into the school and showed Melissa’s hair to her head of year.”

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At that point, the school then responded with a public statement that addressed the situation from their perspective. “Bullying can have a devastating effect on children and families, and at Cherry Tree Hill Primary School, we take any report of alleged bullying extremely seriously and will always investigate,” a spokesperson told the Derby Telegraph.

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“The school can only take this so far and requires the cooperation of parents and carers,” the spokesperson continued. “We have spoken to [Fleming] about the allegations raised but cannot give out details of individual children or circumstances. This is an internal matter which we will continue to investigate.”

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From there, the school outlined its ambitions for the student body going forward, noting their primary concern. “Our goal is not only to provide high quality education, but also to ensure the safety of the children we care for every day, and that will continue to be our priority,” the spokesperson added.

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Unsurprisingly, this story provoked a lot of reaction online, as people shared their thoughts on Melissa’s plight. The Derby Telegraph’s coverage in particular drew some fiery responses from users in the comments section, with one passionate post standing out above the rest.

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“It’s not acceptable,” wrote user Dropbox. “Once was bad enough, but for it to continue is disgraceful. I would hope the head resigns and someone of competence is appointed quickly by the board of governors, a person capable of disciplining the perpetrators.”

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“The same for the incompetent teacher. If [they] cannot spot children cutting Melissa’s hair during a lesson they need a change of career,” Dropbox added. “Parents of other children at that school should demonstrate and help Melissa to sort this.”

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On that note, Fleming revealed the unfortunate impact this has all had on Melissa, before outlining her hopes for the future. “She is sometimes reluctant to go to school. We seemed to be blamed for her behavior because people think it’s down to bad parenting,” the mom told U.K. newspaper The Sun in June 2018. “We are hoping we can put an end to this.”

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