The Courier-Mail

School’s ap­peal in hair bun­fight may be too late

- BREN­DAN O’MALLEY Cook Islands

A SOUTH­EAST Queens­land school will ap­peal a tri­bunal rul­ing that it could not force a Pa­cific Is­lander boy to cut his hair, which is kept long for cul­tural rea­sons.

But by the time the ap­peal is heard, Cyrus Taniela may well have had his flow­ing locks cut any­way.

Cyrus, 6, who is of Nuie and Cook Is­lands her­itage, keeps his hair in a neat bun while at school.

For tra­di­tional rea­sons he can­not have it cut un­til he turns seven.

Aus­tralian Chris­tian Col­lege More­ton tried to can­cel Cyrus’s en­rol­ment be­cause it has a short­hair rule for boys, but the Queens­land Civil and Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal ruled last month it was un­law­ful for the school to make him wear his hair short.

QCAT found that the col­lege en­gaged in di­rect and in­di­rect dis­crim­i­na­tion on the ba­sis of Cyrus’s race.

The school last week lodged an ap­peal chal­leng­ing the tri­bunal’s rul­ing, how­ever due to a lengthy case back­log it is pos­si­ble the mat­ter will not be heard un­til next year when Cyrus is due to have a hair­cut.

“This is more stress and worry, just when we thought it was all over,’’ fam­ily spokesman Archie Ata­iau said.

The col­lege was con­tacted for com­ment, how­ever it was a pub­lic hol­i­day in More­ton yes­ter­day.

 ??  ?? Cyrus Taniela and his flow­ing locks.
Cyrus Taniela and his flow­ing locks.

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