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School student refuses to wear Red and Black

It’s almost a sea of red and black at one of Christchurch’s primary schools today.

Selwyn House School Year 7 student, Polly Harding, has refused to wear red and black because her brother Sam plays for the Highlanders, crushingly defeated by the Crusaders last weekend.

Polly feels she cannot support the Crusaders even if it means supporting the Brumbies although she did have to back down in order to attend school this morning – Polly has put a couple of red and black paint stripes on her face.

The principal at Selwyn House, Jane Lapthorn, said yesterday that no-one would get through the gates unless they were wearing red and black today. Mrs Lapthorn has bought face paint for the girls, crepe paper and balloons but has asked that everyone also wear red and black clothes too.

Everyone from John the school chef, to the pre-schoolers, teachers and of course the 300 girls - that's 299 without Polly - are wearing red and black.

Simon Mutch, originally from Southland and a true Highlanders supporter, will be taking school assembly today at 12.05pm. Mr Mutch has been heard to describe his red and black and clothing as "cosier than his Highlanders gear" - whatever that means?!

Margaret Tallentire, the Boarding House Matron, is resplendent today in a red shiny wig with all of the boarders wearing red and black face paint; goodness knows what the girls from Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Korea must think of it all.

One staff member who knows more about rugby than most is Karen Almond who captained the England Women’s Rugby team to victory in the 1994 Rugby World Cup. Karen is the Head of PE at Selwyn House and is encouraging everyone to get behind the Crusaders.

Polly says nothing will change her mind, she is standing her ground and wishes the Brumbies all the very best.

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