Friday, 31 March 2017 21:00

Some school uniform policies may not have the balance right

Following reports that a number of students with African heritage across the state have been told their hairstyles breach school uniform policies, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton said that it may be that some schools haven't got the balance quite right between their uniform policies and respecting their students' diversity.

"While Victorian law allows schools and educational authorities to set reasonable standards of dress, schools must balance this with their obligations not to discriminate on the basis of race or physical features.

"There is a clear difference between students who have had their hair in braids for their entire life and whose hairstyle connects them to their culture, and students who have gotten braids or cornrows on an overseas holiday.

"Schools are extensions of our society. They should be proud to promote their diversity and celebrate the many cultures that make up our society.

"If anyone believes that the standards set by schools and educational authorities are discriminatory, they can call the Commission on 1300 292 153 or fill in an online complaint form,” Commissioner Hilton said.

Media contact

Adam Pulford
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