To whom is concerned,
The further I venture into the monotonous journey that encapsulates my mock GCSEs, and eventually my full GCSE exams, I find myself weaseling every last smidgen of individuality that I can muster. This is a somewhat perilous journey that struggles to leave harbor, however it does provide my daily intake of eternal rebellion. There is only so much potentially factious behavior and thought that I can commit whilst still remaining in the boundaries of privilege.
One area of individuality that I have not yet traversed is the newfangled male fashion accessory of the line and/or design in the hair. I have not crossed this river, perhaps, on the grounds of stylistic and maintenance reasons. An unfortunate fact for those young London Nautical members who choose to embellish their outer skull with designs and waves, is that they are doing so at the stake of their education.
The London Nautical School pupil code condones no hairstyle that is not in keeping of the school ‘uniform’ which also demands hairstyles to be “above the ear, above the eyebrow and and above the collar” These are three parts of the uniform policy that are quite rightly no longer enforced, however this established line in the sand has not yet been drawn parallel with the line in the hair. These policies are snuggled tight between the reminder to bring your hymnbooks, and an order not to eat on the street, two more outdated and often overlooked parts of the pupil code. Sadly any reason for this strangling of individualism and creativity has never quite been communicated. The only two reasons I can fathom for this lack of even an attempt at justification of this policy are as follows;
a) You in the leadership team simply have no reason to justify why you refuse to let young men, some only 2 years away from being a legal adult where they would live in a world where this rule applies to them no longer, have the haircut that they desire. Your team could just simply be following your own stylistic ideas, heck you could even be jealous that you don’t work the patterns as well as the students. These are both flawed and ridiculous sounding ideas but sadly are the most rational reasons for the no design in the hair rule to exist.
or the more likely:
b) There is a subtle, darker agenda that the school follows. This one needs some explaining and some slight mitigation. The London Nautical, as you will know being a devoted member of the Leadership Team, was founded as a result of the sinking of the Titanic. The school’s primary focus was to provide young men to the navy. This is clearly an outdated focus as technological advancements have insisted that any war that the United Kingdom potentially engage with will require nuclear weaponry, aircraft and bombs, not a slow silly war ship. The job of the young navy men these days is often patrolling the seas around a tropical island in the sun, hoping for the world to travel back in time to an era where the navy had any social or cultural relevance. The job is clearly less inviting as the amount of boys leaving LNS to join the navy has been majorly dwindling to the point where having one boy join the navy from a year group is a commodity. In the pre world war two era the majority of boys graduated the school and left for the sea. So for the year 1915, the strict parameters of hair code mimicking the navy were highly suitable.
However, as I have alluded to, the focus of this school now is not to produce seamen, it is simply a state comprehensive that puts passion into sport. The school has started priding itself on bringing an all round education to its students and strives to prepare them for the greater world, but its current policy on haircuts is lagging miles behind the ever changing and improving ethos of the school. LNS is a school that has become vastly multicultural and multiracial in the last century. The current ethnic and race proportions of the school are vastly different to the all white faces of the 1920s. In this all white era no boy would have thought about a decorative or individualistic hairstyle, but as the introduction of cultural fashion and the integration of colored people into LNS grew, the policies remained the same and began to morph into inconsiderate and currently subtle passive racism. Hairstyle designs that involve line(s) was a significant cultural feature of black Americans culture in the 1990s and throughout modern civil rights campaigns and is a fashion feature experiencing rejuvenation in England now. The lack of accommodation for this cultural change is an example of ignorance and oppression of black history and symbolism, and although most likely your leadership team do not endorse this ignorance and racism, and may not mean it, by keeping the no line in hair policy you are strangling the individualism and creativity that is involved in all the most important developments in the modern world.
I hope that you come to see that the no line in the hair policy is in no way beneficial to any student that comes to the ever improving London Nautical School, and is in fact holding back the development of the young men at the school. You must realize a haircut transcends school and I also hope you will see that me being an A* pupil in English or a C student in maths is in no way dependent on my hairstyle. If I were to shave a line in my head, you would take me out of education until I eradicate my “mistake.” This I can safely inform you, would affect my education.
I implore you to ask other students about this policy, I can assure you their view will be no different to mine. Your best course of action would be to remove this ignorant and binding policy immediately.
Henry Howeld- Year 11 Student.