Published: 12:00, 07 April 2014
A mother says a Chatham school's decision to exclude her son from class for wearing make-up in a charity stunt was "over the top".
Levi Keat, of Corkwell Street, wanted to help raise money for charity just like girls in his class who had gone make-up free and posted pictures online. The craze went nation-wide and raised £2million for Cancer Research in just two days.
Levi asked his sister to plaster him in eyeliner, mascara, foundation and blusher – but when he arrived at school he was told to remove his warpaint or go home.
He was removed from a maths lesson and made to sit alone in another room – despite telling teachers he was doing it to raise cash for cancer victims.
Levi, 15, said he was "gutted" when the fundraiser backfired, especially as he had the idea to help his cousin who is currently fighting Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
The teenager said: "I couldn't really see a problem. I'd seen all these girls going make-up free at school and posting pictures to raise money.
"I thought it was a nice idea and it got me thinking. I had my normal uniform on, it was only my face that was made up. I went round to my sister Zoe's house really early that morning just so she could do it for me.
"The make-up free selfie thing is a great idea but I felt left out and I wanted to do something to help my cousin."
Before going into his first lesson, Levi took a selfie that he uploaded to his Facebook page and asked people to donate to the charity.
But as soon as he arrived at St John Fisher Catholic School in Chatham on Friday he was pulled up on his appearance.
He said a teacher inspecting uniform at the gate took him to one side and told him to take the slap off – but he kept it on for his first maths lesson.
The same teacher then removed him, he says, telling him that unless he took the make-up off he would be excluded for the day or possibly more.
Levi's mother, restaurant supervisor Carmel Keat, said the school had been heavy-handed and should have let him wear the make-up so children could donate – especially as girls at the school regularly wear make-up.
The 46-year-old mum-of-four said: "He was so downcast when he told me what had happened.
"He had shown a bit of initiative and felt left out as all the girls were doing their make-up free pictures. Most girls in his class wear more make-up than that on a normal day.
"He's an extrovert and always has these bright ideas. To threaten to send him home because of it and take him out of his lessons was way over the top."
Levi eventually agreed to take the make-up off.
The school has not responded to requests for comment.
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