Girl 'singled out for raspberry hair': Angry mum says Cottingham High School should have bigger concerns
AN ANGRY parent, whose daughter's raspberry hair dye got her teachers seeing red, claims her school should be tackling more important matters.
Mother-of-two Kerri Murray says Cottingham High School should be concentrating on solving its leadership and staffing issues after the suspended head teacher resigned.
Head teacher Elizabeth Logan resigned in August after a six-month suspension following problems at the academy.
Miss Murray insists the academy should be more concerned about running the school than taking her daughter to task over her hair colour.
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She said her youngest child, Rheann Kennedy, 11, was told to wash out her raspberry dye overnight or face being sent home from school the next day.
She said: "It's disgraceful, with all the problems they have got with the old head teacher, to make a big scene about the colour of my daughter's hair.
"I don't know how they can treat a pupil in this way when they don't even tell us what has been going on with the former head, which affects the children more than having a certain hair colour.
"They have blown things out of proportion over my daughter's hair colour compared with other things that should have been dealt with better at the school."
Miss Murray, of Priory Road, Cottingham, says dozens of pupils at the 1,288-pupil secondary have dyed hair and her daughter wanted to follow the same fashion.
She said: "Over the half-term holiday, she asked if she could dye her hair, as all her friends were doing it.
"I agreed to let her but only with a wash-in, wash-out one, so she picked a raspberry hair dye."
Miss Murray insists her daughter's hair style is not a distraction.
She said: "There must be 50 pupils with crazy hair styles and some staff, too.
"Rheann has her hair in a ponytail.
"It's not as if it's a foot-high Mohican that's distracting people."
Miss Murray says her daughter was upset after being singled out about her appearance.
She said: "My daughter is very shy and quiet, with not much self-confidence and spent the whole day at school worrying who she was going to get told off by next.
"She just wanted to be like all her friends.
"The school even has a hair and beauty salon where they teach year nine pupils to dye hair. You can't expect children to learn to do things and then not do it."
Rheann says she was warned by her head of house that she could be sent home the next day if she failed to wash out the raspberry dye.
She said: "I got called out.
"I didn't know what it was about at first, then I realised it might be about my hair.
"I felt upset when I was told off. Some of the girls in my form have got their hair in bright colours as well, but only two of us got called out."
Miss Murray says there is no ruling against hair dyes in the school's dress code, so she has not washed out Rheann's raspberry colour.
She said: "I don't see why I should have to back down when there's nothing mentioned about it in the dress code.
"I think it's an absolute joke that they can waste their time ringing me up about my child's hair when there are other more important things they should be informing parents about.
"I always thought Cottingham High School was a good school but I am now having very serious doubts."
The academy, which has an acting head until a new principal is appointed, has declined to comment.