By: Jenny Liang
A Mordiallochigh school student says he was left feeling as though his voice “didn’t matter” when he was thrown out of the classroom because of the color of his hair. The year 10 student at Mordialloc Secondary College, who requested to remain anonymous, was recently booted from the classroom because his hair was dyed pink.
The student says he only colored it as a show of support for causes close to his heart, including youth mental health. “I just feel like I’ve been silenced, like I can’t share my opinion or anything,” he said. The school is now facing a formal complaint of neglect after telling the student to study alone in an office instead of in the classroom.
He was told he could only return once he removed the dye or wore a beanie - which he refused. “It made me feel like my voice didn’t matter,” he said. “They focus more on what kids are wearing to school than what’s actually going on at school.”
Mordialloc Secondary College declined to comment when approached byte Department of Education said all concerns relating to uniform were matters for the school to address. The school has a policy that forbids “non-natural hair colors”. However, child psychologists said that modern policies should account for individuality. “This young person is expressing their identity and promoting a very important social issue at the same time,” Dr Michael Carr-Gregg said. “Schools have to choose the hill that they die on and, for me, this isn’t one of them.”