19 Oct 2008

Charity urged to drop 'gang colour' headscarves

6:40 am on 19 October 2008

A school principal is urging a charity to change its annual bandana appeal for young cancer sufferers due to a potential clash with gang colours.

Canteen has been selling the brightly-coloured headscarves to raise money for its cause for 15 years.

But, Aotea College in Porirua, north of Wellington, won't be selling blue, red or black headscarves this year, because those colours are carried by some of the country's most prominent gangs.

Principal Tim Davies-Colley says it's unfortunate the school had to make that decision, as the appeal is a worthy cause.

He says Canteen could look at using other merchandise, such as wrist bands, instead of bandanas.

But Canteen says it has no immediate plans to change its annual appeal.

The charity's Marketing Manager, Brad Clark, says 2,000 schools were approached to help sell the headscarves this year and 500 pledged their support.

He says it's unfair to link the bandanas to gang culture.

"To link the two things together is just irresponsible given that people recognise the bandana as a headcovering when people lose their hair through chemotherapy and other cancer treatments," he said.