A mum has accused her daughter's school of discrimination after members of a dance group were punished for wearing fake tan.

Natalie White said dancers from Samba Dance & Fitness were singled out among other pupils at Whitworth Community High School. She explained that it's normal for dancers to wear fake tan during weekend competitions, and that it takes a while to fully wash off and fade.

But last week, her daughter Bella Granata was ordered to attend a detention and given behaviour points after teachers observed fake tan on her hands in school. The Year 7 pupil was bemused and upset by the response, and Natalie said the principal of Samba intervened to try and resolve the problem.

Whitworth Community High School (
Google Maps)

This reportedly involved handing in a list of the names of dancers and their competition schedule in what was hoped to create some grace periods where some leniency could be afforded. But according to Natalie, the plan backfired with all those on the lists picked out of class and handed similar reprimands alongside Bella.

She told LancsLive: "She's been dancing for several years and they compete every couple of weekends. It's been known at school that all these kids do dancing. She's going out, she's exercising as part of the dancing. All the kids are off the streets and doing something, you'd think the school would be more supportive. But they're not listening. They're not promoting extra-curricular activities."

According to Natalie, the fake tan is only visible on her daughter's hands as she wears tights to cover her legs. It is said to be hard to wash off but usually fades by midweek. She said other pupils at the school have been in similar situations for several years and had no issue. Meanwhile, she says, those at other dancing clubs, have not been punished in the same way and that the affected pupils have been discriminated against.

"These kids have been doing this for five years," she said. "A lot of them are confused. The principal took in the list and all they've done with that is go in and pick them off. They wouldn't punish kids who've been boxing and come in with a black eye. It's unfair. It's obscene." She added: "Other kids at other schools aren't getting punished. It's disgusting."

Natalie said some parents have tried ringing the school for answers but have so far received no response. She said the issue was never raised while Bella was at primary school and doesn't understand why it's causing a problem now. "Fair enough if they're wearing fake tan all the time, that wouldn't be right. But when it's for a competition and the school have been told that, it's not fair."

A spokesperson for Whitworth Community High School said: "The use of fake tan is not allowed in school, as per our school uniform policy. We have recently reminded parents of the rules around fake tan and asked that any fake tan applied over the weekend for extracurricular activities is washed off before returning to school. A student who attends school with fake tan fully applied receives a sanction in line with our school policies, and letters are issued reminding parents/carers of our policy regarding fake tan."