School’s appeal in hair bunfight may be too late
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.