The Rules

I know we have to have rules. The world would be in (even more) chaos if everybody did whatever they pleased whenever they chose. People would be hurt and a suffering would be commonplace. But what about those silly rules. You know, the ones that don’t really make sense. The ones where you can’t really work out the reasoning behind it. The ones where the only logical conclusion is that they are there to cause misery.

My daughter and I have come into contact with such a rule very recently.

The issue was her hair colour. The school think it’s inappropriate and wanted it dyed back to a ‘normal’ colour. Her hair had been dyed red since the start of term. Not a bright unnatural red, but more of a reddy-auburn that glowed more red in the sun. Apparently it’s not a naturally occurring colour so was against the school rules.

I could understand it if her hair had been a wild shade of green but as it was it looked more ‘natural’ than one of my daughters friends’ bright ginger hair!

Letters went back and forth between me and the school. We progressed to telephone calls. It culminated in my daughter spending a day in the Junction – an in-school exclusion.

The only solution was for me to dye her hair again.

It seems like a silly thing for me to worry about but my daughter’s hair defines her. She is confident with red hair. She is happy with red hair. She is known as ‘Red’ to several kids in others years. She is utterly distraught.

She settled on black and I dyed it last night. She hates it, much as I thought she would. She’s tried black hair before but it never fit her like the red did. She cried after I had finished and shut herself away, refusing to reply to any of her friends repeated messages and video chat requests.

I just don’t understand why it’s such a big deal to the school. She won’t learn any less because her hair was red. In fact knowing her, she’ll probably learn less now because she’s so gutted and annoyed at the school.

The kids are going through puberty. It’s a hard time for them all, trying to create their identities and find their place in the world. I don’t see what the school have to gain from stifling their personalities. I want my daughter to be her own person – to express herself in a way that’s right for her, not to be pushed into conforming to what everybody else expects.

I can only assume that the school like the kids to all look ‘uniform’ for when visitors come in. But surely it would be better for visitors to see classrooms full of happy pupils?

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