Wendy Taniela with her 5 year old son Cyrus Taniela in a play ground in Upper Caboolture. The mother of a five-year-old boy with long hair says his Caboolture school, Australian Christian College Moreton, told them it had to be cut despite his hair cutting ceremony, which is part of his father’s Cook Islands and Niuean heritage, being still a year away Monday February 10,2020. (AAP image, John Ga
Wendy Taniela with her 5 year old son Cyrus Taniela in a play ground in Upper Caboolture. The mother of a five-year-old boy with long hair says his Caboolture school, Australian Christian College Moreton, told them it had to be cut despite his hair cutting ceremony, which is part of his father’s Cook Islands and Niuean heritage, being still a year away Monday February 10,2020. (AAP image, John Ga

‘Bunfight’ mum gets small win over strict school rules

A CABOOLTURE mother warring against a strict Christian school to keep her five-year-old son's traditional long hair has been given a reprieve by a Queensland tribunal.

In a David and Goliath-style battle against Australian Christian College Moreton, Wendy Taniela will now face a hearing in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal in July over the schools insistence she cut the little boy's hair.

The mother has lodged an application against the school to stop her son Cyrus, who is enrolled in Prep, being expelled for keeping his hair long in accordance with his traditional and cultural beliefs.

Cyrus is of Cook Islands and Niuean heritage and his family had planned since his birth to cut his hair when he turns seven.

 

Wendy Taniela with her 5 year old son Cyrus Taniela in a play ground in Upper Caboolture. The mother of a five-year-old boy with long hair says his Caboolture school, Australian Christian College Moreton, told them it had to be cut despite his hair cutting ceremony, which is part of his father’s Cook Islands and Niuean heritage, being still a year away Monday February 10,2020. (AAP image, John Ga
Wendy Taniela with her 5 year old son Cyrus Taniela in a play ground in Upper Caboolture. The mother of a five-year-old boy with long hair says his Caboolture school, Australian Christian College Moreton, told them it had to be cut despite his hair cutting ceremony, which is part of his father’s Cook Islands and Niuean heritage, being still a year away Monday February 10,2020. (AAP image, John Ga

The family are also devout Christians and have another child attending the school.

Cyrus currently wears his hair tied back in a neat bun to school.

Mrs Taniela asked the school if they would provide an exemption from the hairstyle policy that prohibits long hair, but they refused in February saying the child would be expelled if he did not adhere to the rules.

She applied to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal in February to stop the child being unenrolled until the court could hear arguments from both parties on the issue.

On Wednesday, the Moreton college agreed not to expel the child on the basis of his hair until after QCAT had heard the matter on July 22, when the Tribunal will decide Cyprus' fate.

During Wednesday 's hearing, the court heard the matter should be resolved as soon as possible in order to give both parties "certainty" moving into the new school term.

The family lodged a complaint to the Human Rights Commission, which could not be resolved and the matter has now been referred to QCAT.

Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act prevents discrimination on the basis of race at all schools, private or otherwise.



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