I couldn't help but titter at this story carried by the BBC about a 15 year old "rock music fan" being discriminated against because of his shoulder length hair.
Now whether Grant Stranaghan of Ballyclare High should be allowed to wear his hair long is an issue on which I have not yet formed any view (and nor am I likely to, because frankly it is not a very interesting question). But I will say that the reaction of his father to his son's treatment and the threat of legal action may be construed as just, well ..... A LITTLE BIT OVER THE TOP!
"I could have cried when he told me what they did to him - they put him in a room and threw work at him, no contact with anyone.This is Northern Ireland in 2007. Solitary confinement, I think it's called."
Yes. This is Northern Ireland in 2007 and thus we have a huge song and dance about a pupil being required to work on their own for a while because they've breached school rules. Mr Stranaghan must have a dim view of his son if he adjudges a wee while in his own company worthy of tears. I think this father needs a reality check.
Being put in a room and given work is called education, solitary confinement is being put in a cell for days on end and not given any distractions to wile away the time. I doubt that Winnie Mandela, reflecting on another spell for Nelson in the punishment cells of Robben Island ever had cause to concede, as does Mr Stranaghan about his son's solitary confinement, "he did say he got plenty of work done, but I don't think it's fair".
The monks in Burma have nothing on this poor martyred youngster! The incorrigible whiners of Stalin's Gulag should count themselves lucky that they didn't have to spend an hour away from their mates concentrating on GCSE coursework! You have to feel for his suffering father shedding salt tears at the persecution of his son, all on the basis of some distinctive lank adolescent locks.
Mr Stranaghan claims young Grant had work thrown at him? I strongly suspect he had work given to him, although when I was at school I would have been grateful to have some nice light work whizzing past my earhole as it was considerably more likely to be a chalk duster! I also clearly remember being locked in a music store for 80 minutes because I wasn't able to play Silent Night on the recorder. Somehow I survived this ordeal without recourse to the courts.
I'll let the poor oppressed victim of this heinous injustice have the final word:
"I would be depressed without my hair".
Well wouldn't we all! Let's be grateful Grant Stranaghan lives in the age of nit shampoo.