Is JoJo ban justified?

Latest tween fashion statement divides opinion in the playground. 

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Following faddy trends and sporting the latest fashion have become part of every day life for many school age children both here and in America.

Gone are the days of swapping marbles or trading conkers, today’s children are far more interested in gadgets or discussing the latest YouTube stars.

One popular YouTube star is JoJo Siwa, a 13-year-old girl famous for starring in US reality show Dance Mom and creating the now infamous JoJo Bow.

Large, brightly coloured hair clips with an oversized bow attached, JoJo Bows are used by girls to decorate a ponytail and, although something similar but slightly smaller was popular in the 1980s, they are taking the country by storm.

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JoJo Bow of the 80’s – aka The Fergie Bow

This may have something to do with the fact that JoJo, who also sings, has her own YouTube channel and a huge online presence – her videos have had over 2 million views and she has 4.5 million followers on Instagram so, even if you’ve never heard of her, chances are your child has.

Recently releasing a video explaining why she likes to wear giant bows, JoJo has inspired thousands of young girls to follow in her footsteps, even releasing her own range available for them to choose from at a high street retailer.

So, why is this news? Apparently the giant hair accessory is giving teachers a huge headache and some schools have made the decision to ban them completely, leading to one angry parent accusing teachers of treating the bows “like guns.”

The headteacher of one of the schools to ban the bow has justified the decision, saying that they don’t fit in with the school uniform ethos which is enforced to signal to the children that they are part of the school family and there to work, not be distracted by huge accessories worn by their classmates.

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JoJo Siwa

School uniform has been subject to debate several times over the years – Michael Gove has previously urged all schools to introduce not just a standard uniform, but blazers and ties too. Then there was the time Ed Balls suggested that local authorities encourage schools to adopt ‘smart’ uniforms and strengthen ties with ‘uniformed’ organisations such as scouts and guides.

Not everyone agrees and one man who has spent eight years studying school related statistics is American academic, David Brunsma, a sociology professor at Missouri-Colombia University. After embarking on the lengthy research he concluded that uniforms do not make schools better and the enforced wearing of one is actually an issue of children’s rights, social control and one related to increasing racial, class and gender inequalities in schools.

See this article about a school in Derbyshire that produces fantastic results, is deemed good by OFSTED and doesn’t enforce a uniform at all.

What do you think – are schools right to ban the accessory or are they making a mountain out of a hair bow?

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