Tuesday, June 05, 2007

More on England's Most Bizarre Prejudice

The Chapman children from Newcastle

From this morning's Telegraph newspaper:

By Laura Clout

A father whose children allegedly suffered years of abuse because of their ginger hair was told by a council official to dye their locks, it was claimed yesterday.

Kevin and Barbara Chapman, from Newcastle upon Tyne, say they have been forced to move twice because of name-calling, graffiti and attacks on their children, aged between nine and 13.

Their 11-year-old son Kevin became so depressed that he tried to hang himself, they claim, and he has since been taken out of school.

Mr Chapman alleged yesterday that a housing officer from Newcastle council suggested that he dye his children's hair to "take the pressure off". He told Jeremy Vine on Radio 2: "Why should we dye their hair? We are proud to be redheads." Mr Chapman said their windows have been smashed and graffiti daubed on their property.

Their children, Kevin, 13, Ryelle, 10, and Daniel, nine, have been punched, kicked and thrown over a hedge, he said. Mr Chapman said of their tormentors: "I just wish they would stop and realise what they are doing to the family."

Sgt Colin Murray, of Northumbria police, said the incidents had been fully investigated.

The council denied that the family were advised to dye their hair and said it was "in discussion" with them about the alleged abuse.

Other links to the story:
The Daily Mail

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