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Mother Takes School To Human Rights Commission Over Son’s Haircut

Mother takes school to Human Rights Commission over son’s haircut

A Brisbane mother is taking a school to the Human Rights Commission over her son’s haircut, claiming race discrimination.

The Christian school told the mother it will expel her five year-old if she doesn’t cut his traditional long hair.

Brisbane mother takes case to Human Rights Commission

Wendy Taniela received a letter from the Australian Christian College Moreton demanding she cut her son Cyrus’s long hair.

The school demanded she do it by today, or the Prep student will be kicked out of the school, however, she is refusing.

She told The Courier-Mail:

“They said they require Cyrus to conform to the policy and he has to meet all the requirements in length and style if he is to remain a student at the college, and he has to meet this by Friday or he will be unenrolled.”



Hairstyle follows traditional cultural practices

Cyrus is of Cook Islands and Niuean heritage and therefore his family plan to cut his hair when he turns seven in keeping with tradition.

Despite the school’s strict haircut policies, Taniela can’t understand why it won’t make an exception.

Human Rights Commission warns school is breaching anti-discrimination laws

Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan says the state’s anti-discrimination laws prevent discrimination on the basis of race.

And that includes in all educational institutions, and non-government schools are no exception.

“Race is a protected attribute, and cultural practice is included in that, so, as a result, I think Mrs Taniela has a strong case,” he said.

“I find it extraordinary that a so-called ‘Christian’ school is so keen to exclude students based on someone’s culture.

“In addition, this boy is five years-old – what sort of negative impact will result from the school making an exception in this case?

“The problem with common sense, is that it is so uncommon, especially when religion is involved.”


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