A naturally red-haired schoolgirl has been banned from the classroom because her hair is too ginger!
Emily Reay, 17, is just weeks away from sitting her A-levels but she's been told she can't return to lessons until she dyes her hair to a more 'natural' colour.
Emily, who is naturally auburn, dyed her hair to a brighter red three years ago and she says it has since become her trademark.
In fact, she even won 'best hairstyle award' on her school's prom night.
However, her school - Trinity in Carlisle, Cumbria - recently introduced a strict uniform policy and when Emily returned after the Easter holidays she was told to go home until she dyes her hair to a more 'natural' colour.
"I've had the same colour for the past three years, and nobody at school has commented on it. Everyone knows me as that 'young ginger singer'.
"For me it is all about confidence. If I had to dye my hair brown, I would lose that."
Her parents Julie and Andy went to the school to discuss the matter with sixth-form head teacher Andrew Winter.
Julie, 44, said: "The school's uniform policy clearly states no unnatural hair colours, like blue or green. Is ginger not a natural hair colour? They had Emily in tears.
"They don't realise what her hair means to her. Her hair might naturally be auburn, but she's had this colour for so long now it is part of her.
"It's like living in the Victorian times."
Determined not to miss out on important lessons, a defiant Emily says she will return to school with her hair pinned up.
She said: "I have to hope nothing is said. It is too damaging at this stage of my education."
He said: "Trinity School sixth-form students are role models for the rest of the school. We have a policy of maintaining high standards.
"All sixth form students are issued with information about what is acceptable or unacceptable at the start of the academic year.
"The vast majority of parents are very keen on our high standards."
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