A Year Nine female student from Tereora College was last week told by one of her teachers not to return to school until her braided hair extensions were taken out.
The student had returned to school after a two-week holiday
in New Zealand with her family where she got her hair braided.
The school rules, that the student’s parents were briefed on
before enrolling their daughter at Tereora College, included no artificial hair
colouring, no coloured nail polish, and that long hair must be plaited. Being
aware of this they ensured that her braids were tied back into a plait.
The student was told that she was “breaching the school
rules” and that she must stay home until her braids are taken out and her hair
is tied in an ordinary plait.
She has complied with the requirement and returned to
But her mum, who wished to remain anonymous, said she
doesn't understand why such an extreme focus is being put on her daughter’s
“As far as the rules are concerned, we haven’t broken
A lot of time and money was spent on her daughter’s braids,
the parent explained. She said the bigger focus should be on her daughter’s
“If we were given the opportunity to see the rules in fine
print and know that she is just not being picked on for the sake of it then
that would make the situation better … she was just blatantly told to stay home
until her braids are taken out.”
Tania Morgan, principal of Tereora College, said that the
school guidelines regarding the dress code is made available and is a signed
agreement between parents and students upon enrolment.
Tereora College welcomes input from the community regarding
the school’s dress which reflects the wishes of the community, says Morgan.
“We welcome the input from our community and there is a
process for this through our AGM (annual general meeting) and PTA (Parents
Teachers Association),” said Morgan.
Morgan also organised an attempt to reach out to the parent
and has offered to clarify the school rules for her in a meeting.