A 5-year-old girl who suffers from alopecia areata has been forced to remove the wig that she wore to school to hide her bald spots. The reason Apryl Corbett’s parents were given was because the wig “breached health and safety rules.” Daily Mail reports that tlopecia areata, also known as spot baldness, has left her with bald patches that her mother said caused other children to bully her. Apryl began to wear a wig to Broad Oak Community Primary School to hide her bald spots, but the school reportedly made her remove it during a physical education class.
According to The Sun, Apryl felt “humiliated” after the school made her take off the wig. Broad Oak said that the wig posed a danger to other students if it fell off during exercises. Apryl’s mother, Lianne, who also has alopecia areata, was furious with the school after it made her daughter remove her wig. “They were trying to tell me that Apryl was more than happy to take it off,” Lianne said. “But when she came home she said she was really sad because she didn’t want people to see her hair. She was so pleased when she had the wig on. She had the biggest smile on her face.”
Apryl had previously been told that she could not wear a hat at school, because it wasn’t a part of her school uniform. “I told them I wasn’t happy and if she can’t have it on then I’d take her home as I don’t want to risk her being bullied,” said Lianne. “They were persistent that she could not wear it.” She continued. “They kept saying they have kids with cancer in the school and deal with situations like this all the time.” Lianne is reportedly looking to permanently remove Apryl from Broad Oak after the incidents.
A spokeswoman for the school district said that Apryl “was asked to remove the wig over health and safety concerns during her P.E. lesson. She was not excluded from class,” the spokeswoman added. A spokesperson from the Health and Safety Executive, said there were no regulations that would prevent Apryl from wearing her wig in school. “It is up to those involved to work out sensible arrangements. We hope common sense prevails,” said the Health and Safety Executive representative.
“If a child with alopecia chooses to wear a wig, hat or headscarf to cover their hair loss, we would hope schools would be accommodating of this choice,” said a spokeswoman for Alopecia U.K., a charity organization dedicated to helping those with alopecia. “We’re pleased to report most are. The most important thing is that the child is able to choose and feels comfortable and supported,” the spokeswoman for Alopecia U.K. added.