Emily Reay, who has naturally auburn hair, has been dying her hair a more vibrant red for the past three years. It was only after her Easter break that she was told she needs to dye her hair a more natural color before she is allowed to return to class, despite the fact that her A level (final exams in high school) begin in two months.
Her parents told the school that their policy should only apply to unnatural colors and not ginger.
They said “Emily has natural auburn hair, but her hair has been this color for so long now it is part of her. It’s like living in the Victorian times. I would say her education is more important.”
Her mother, Julie, said “They had her in tears. They do not realize what her hair means to her. The irony is she is playing Scaramouche in the school's adaptation of We Will Rock You, which is about society suppressing people's creativity and self-expression.”
She added "The school's uniform policy clearly states no unnatural hair colors, like blue or green. Is ginger not a natural hair color?"
The school, Trinity School, Carlisle, in Cumbria, is refusing to back down. Sixth-form head Andrew Winter issued the following statement:
“Trinity School sixth-form students are role models for the rest of the school. We have a policy of maintaining high standards. All sixth form students are issued with information about what is acceptable or unacceptable at the start of the academic year. The vast majority of parents are very keen on our high standards.”
Reay has said that she will pin her hair up or hid it under a hat to avoid missing out on classes before her exams. So far the school has refused.
The public have been voicing their opinion on Twitter:
Standing with you #EmilyReay and hoping your draconian school rules can be looked at by someone sensible. — Gingers:TheGathering (@GingerGathering) April 16, 2015
Trinity School in Carlisle, Cumbria has Banned Emily Reay for being too ginger. How about teaching acceptance of others for f**ksake! — William Convey (@RealWillConvey) April 16, 2015