School administrators in Siberia have threatened to expel a 4th-grade student for wearing a man bun styled after his hero, the Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in an incident that has sparked an outcry across Russia.
The hair-raising controversy gained nationwide attention this week after the 10-year-old aspiring football player was reprimanded for coming to class with faded sideburns and a long, bleach-blond top. Regional investigators have launched an inspection into last Thursday’s incident, saying they plan to determine whether school officials in the Krasnoyarsk region town of Sosnovoborsk abused their authority.
Russian social media users have launched a campaign asking Ibrahimovic to make a statement in support of the schoolkid.
The Krasnoyarsk region’s education authorities weighed in on the controversy, telling local media that schools have “no right to make demands on students’ appearance.” A top education official was said to have advised the Sosnovoborsk school to “review” its recently updated dress code that bans unusual haircuts.
The latest hair-related controversy comes a year after a 15-year-old in central Russia was suspended for dying her hair pink in violation of her school’s dress code.
Months after her suspension caused a nationwide outcry, education officials in the Perm region were reported to have instructed local schools to avoid punishing students for wearing “extravagant” hairstyles, bright manicures and piercings.
Sosnovoborsk is more than 4,000 kilometers east of Moscow.