A teenage student has been forbidden from school because teachers stated her dyed hair was an unnatural colour. Fern Burke, 14, was told she could not return to classes at Middleton Technology School in Rochdale until her hair was darker.

Fern’s mum, Tracey Burke, has tried to darken it twice, however, following being told Fern’s hair was still too bright she declines to use a darker black colourant since she worries her daughter would be browbeaten.

Fern, a true brunette, dyed her hair red over the summer, however, maintains the colour waned over the summer. But inside moments of returning for the current school term, her mum got a telephone call stating Fern’s hair was too bright.

Mrs Burke then deepened it with two bottles of brown dye, however, teachers stated that it still wasn’t natural enough. Fern, who lives in Searness Road, Middleton, with her mum, father Patrick, brother Dion, 17, and sister Grace, is presently missing lessons.

Mrs Burke, herself a primary school teaching assistant, stated that Fern had always wanted to experiment and dye her hair red. As her mum knew this was not permitted in school, they waited for the summer holidays to dye it.

After seven weeks off, the colour had waned significantly and Fern returned to school. However, she was told that the colour was still too red, so at the weekend they dyed her hair twice with dark brown.

Mrs Burke stated that she refuses to dye Fern’s hair any darker, and said that the last time she dyed her hair black she was bullied. Naturally, she doesn’t want to endure this again. She said, that she didn’t believe this was right considering there are teachers at the school with purple hair or highlights which are not true colours.

Fern appreciates the necessity for rules inside the school in preparing for the working environment, but you tell me a job where you would be sent home or fired for the colour of your hair. Her mother said she needs to be getting on with work.

Fern’s mum said that she’s now begun Year 10 and needs to concentrate on her GCSEs. The Headteacher Alison Crompton refused to discuss the situation, I question why that might be?

There appears to be an enormous disparity on the colour of a person’s hair whilst in school, but shouldn’t teachers be extra receptive to their students, and recognise that people are individuals, and as individuals should be able to attire and have their hair how they require.

Clearly, teachers can’t say that violates on anyone, or what should and should not be, and if so, does this suggest that we all have to look the same, wear the same, and have the corresponding hair colour, or are we to one day grow up to be the Stepford Wives?

Does this suggest that if students are not permitted to wear their hair how they want, or have the colour that they want it, the teachers should be obeying the identical custom? If one rule is suitable for the pupils, then clearly it should be the same for the teachers?

Opinions have diminished considerably since I was at school towards the way that students should be clothed, and what colour their hair should be, and shouldn’t we as individuals be entitled to be who we truly are, rather than how a culture thinks we should be.

An individual is a person or a particular thing. Identity or selfhood is the nature or essence of being an individual, especially of being a person separate from another person and controlling his or her own needs or goals. The specific interpretation of an individual is essential in the areas of biology, law, and philosophy.

Individualism makes the individual its focus and so begins with the basic premise that the human individual is of prime consequence in the fight for freedom. The most powerful kind of freedom is to be what we really are.

If you feel uncomfortable with who you actually are, and hide the way you truly are, you’re letting society shatter your existence. You should stand up for the freedom to be yourself.

At times, schools handle students negatively. Students need to be different from another person in their own individual way, and there is nothing incorrect about that, it simply indicates that person has decided to be an individual.

Though, sometimes it is simply to fit in with others so that they do not get bullied, which can generate an adverse environment for the whole school population. People don’t start off understanding who they are as an individual, and through all the steps of growing up, teenagers are told how they should act in various circumstances.

The way a person sees himself/herself is discovered over a span of time and comes from seeing himself/herself acting in various settings. That persona is developed over a period of time until individuals come to identify themselves as themselves.

It is common for people to attempt to show themselves as if they are more beautiful and popular than they actually are. A man will pretend to be suave, and mature, and poised, and a woman puts on lipstick carefully to improve her image.

In a sense, a person should not settle for just being himself. People should not feel guilty for being who they are, and for whatever the reason, many people think like they have to struggle for the freedom to simply live as they want.

IT’S OKAY FOR YOU TO BE YOU!

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