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John Paul College student not allowed on school grounds because of ‘unsuitable’ haircut

Petrina Wilson is maintaining the rage as her son faces a fourth week barred from the grounds of John Paul College because he is in contravention of the school’s policy relating to hairstyles.

Ms Wilson told the Kalgoorlie Miner her son had been denied entry to the school for the past three weeks because his hairstyle — a mullet and shaved head — was deemed “unsuitable” under its College Uniform and Personal Appearance Expectations policy.

The policy says: “shaved hair, fads and extreme haircuts are unsuitable for school”.

Mrs Wilson said her son’s hairstyle was the result of post-football celebrations in which he and his friends gave each other “silly hair cuts”, which she described as “good, clean fun”.

“I do not believe that this situation is being handled fairly given the fact there are various versions of this hairstyle currently on the school grounds,” she said.

“My son is being victimised and treated like he is a bad person. This treatment is clearly displayed by the entity that is to provide him with an education and (which) also supports and promotes individuality and acceptance.”

The mother of another student who was a part of the football celebrations said the same thing happened every year at the school.

“The kids win a grand final or whatever it is, they celebrate by giving each other silly hair cuts and then when they get to school, they are told to either go home to fix their hair or wear their hat until it grows out,” she said.

“The school has let every other one of the kids return to school as long as they shave their head or wear a hat but Petrina’s son is being singled out now.

“My nephew, who is 24 now, had the same thing happen to him when he was at the school so the issue has been going on for a long time.

“I could understand if it was something to do with uniforms but it’s not: it’s a haircut.

“I don’t get what the big deal is. The school needs to get out of the 1950s.

“Petrina is usually meek and mild but this has really rattled her. Her son isn’t a bad kid, he’s respectful and mostly flies under the radar.”

JPC acting principal Keith Nicholas said Catholic Education Western Australia schools and colleges set uniform policy appropriate for their students, in consultation with school boards, parents and carers, and communicate with families regarding adherence to these policies where required.

“The college’s uniform policy, which covers personal presentation, is intended to develop a sense of unity and belonging in the college community,” he said.

“John Paul College’s uniform guidelines are publicly available on the school website and made clear to parents and students.

“It is also communicated that the principal and dean of students reserve the right to determine the suitability of hairstyles and colours.”

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