PUPILS at a top city secondary have been warned they may not be allowed to go on school trips if they dye their hair “zany” colours.
Boroughmuir High headteacher David Dempster has told youngsters he doesn’t want them sporting bright blue, green or pink locks when representing the school.
And he has told them to keep their “self-expression” for the holidays.
His warning came after he noticed a sharp rise in the number of bright hairstyles in the school corridors – something put down to pop princess Lady Gaga’s recent blue streak.
But parents and fashion experts claimed pupils had every right to style themselves as they see fit.
Mr Dempster said: “There has been a definite increase in the number of pupils coming to school with zany hair colours – bright pink, bright blue and bright green. It’s only fair that I let students and parents know what my view is. It’s not something I want to promote or encourage. In fact, it’s something I actively want to discourage.”
He has used the school bulletin and assemblies to tell pupils who want to dye their hair that they should arrive for classes with “natural colours” only – black, brown or blonde.
He said he was not going to exclude pupils over the issue, but added there could be consequences for “school trips, visits to the parliament and other organisations around the city”.
He has also warned pupils they may find it difficult to get work experience placements if they insist on brightly coloured hair. “Work experience is a big part of preparing pupils for life beyond school, but many big employers have a rule that allows only natural hair colour.
“If they want to ‘self-express’ in the holidays that’s fine.”
He pointed to the school’s centenary photograph last year with all 1100 Boroughmuir pupils together in one picture. “We got plaudits far and wide about the appearance of our pupils,” he said. “I don’t think we would have got that if significant numbers had had alternative dyed hair colours.”
There were two pupils in the photo with coloured hair, but Mr Dempster said that had now increased to about a dozen, spread between S2 and S5. He said he was not sure why there had been a sudden increase in coloured hair. “Perhaps it’s that Lady Gaga has gone blue.”
But one parent, who asked not to be named, said the school had no right to lay down such rules. “My opinion on this is very strong. It’s their hair and people have a right to have it any colour they wish – even if the school claims it is ‘not appropriate’.”
Evening News fashion correspondent Lynne McCrossan said pastel colours were popular at the moment, with pink in particular the “colour to covet”. She said: “The kids are just expressing themselves. If you can’t do that when you’re a teenager, when can you?
“Teenagers are meant to experiment and have different coloured hair.
“If it’s neat and tidy, what’s the problem? If their parents say it’s OK, that should be enough.”
Four-year-old banned over mohawk
A FOUR-year-old boy was banned from school because of his mini mohawk haircut.
Kain Ball’s mother was told he could not return to his school in Coventry unless his hairstyle, made famous by David Beckham more than ten years ago, was lopped off.
And A-grade schoolgirl Terri Bancroft, 15, was banned from classes after dyeing her hair bright red to look like pop star Rihanna. When she turned up to school in Rhyl, North Wales, her teachers gave her a week’s detention.
Shortly afterwards, 14-year-old Fern Burke dyed her brunette hair red over the summer holidays – only to be told by teachers at her school in Rochdale that she could not return until her hair was darker and restored to a more “natural” colour.