Teacher tells redheaded student to dye her hair because 'orange isn't a natural color'
It seemed like life was getting easier for redheads. In January, they celebrated International Kiss A Ginger Day, a novelty celebration that's turned into a real expression of pride. In February, the new emoji list was published, and finally included cartoon characters "kissed by fire." And in pop culture, redheads have taken more prominence, from Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones to Prince Harry in the real life game of thrones.
However, Paris Lane, a 12-year-old girl in the UK, is facing some discrimination because of her redheaded locks. She attends Kearsley Academy, near Bolton, and says that a teacher made an insulting comment about her natural hair color:
"I was walking around school and heard somebody say, 'Oi.' I turned around and said, 'Me?' I didn't really see him. He said, 'You need to dye your hair back.' He said, 'Orange isn't a natural color.' I then left and walked off."
Upon hearing about the incident, her mother, Nicola, was furious. She called the school to complain, and tried to explain to the staff member that this was a serious problem. Others students had ridiculed Paris for her fiery hair in the past - so much so she was considering dying it to become a brunette.
"I had actually bought [my daughter] a brown hair dye because she's getting bullied about it. She was already upset - she's emotional anyway as she gets called all these ginger names.
"I told [the staff member] about Paris' hair and she giggled and said, 'That's nothing to worry about, we know ginger is her natural color.' But it's not funny to someone who's already conscious of their hair color."
The angry mother visited the school in person, so she could talk to a teacher about the situation face to face. But her complaint was never addressed, and seems to have gotten lost in the bureaucracy.
"He said, 'I will write that down. Can I speak to Paris about this?' I gave him permission and he's still not spoken to her. Nothing ever seems to get done. Before I used to get a letter home explaining what action had been taken. You're left guessing and you don't actually know now."
In frustration, Nicola complained about the school to the Office for Standards in Education, aka Ofsted. An Ofsted spokesman replied, "While we do not comment on individual schools, we consider all complaints thoroughly."
A spokesman for Kearsley Academy issued a similar boilerplate response, saying, "It is our policy not to comment about any individual student at our academy. We always aim to develop a positive relationship with all parents." There's update on if the bullying has been addressed.
Some people may think teasing redheads in real life is funny, inspired by the hilarious "Ginger Kids" South Park episode. But kids shouldn't be bullied in school because of their hair color, nor should told they are "unnatural" by a teacher. Orange hair color is perfectly natural - just look at all those Weasleys.