11 May 2015

Boy battles school over beard

10:56 am on 11 May 2015

The mother of a 16-year-old Christchurch boy banned from school for refusing to shave says the school is denying him an education for no good reason.

Kay Peebles said Hornby High School sent her son home on 30 April because he had a "hairy face."

"We're not talking like ZZ Top, it was just a bit of stubble, and it's not even full face stubble," she said.

Ms Peebles said her son was told he could not return to the school until he was clean shaven.

She said her son wanted to know why he was being asked to shave his facial hair, which was something that occurred naturally and did not affect his academic ability.

"It wasn't until that, that I actually stopped and thought about it and thought, he's absolutely right."

"I have always taught him to not discriminate on people's looks. I've also told him that if you feel that there's something unjust about a situation, or bullying, then you should stand up for it.

"It doesn't matter how good you are at school, or well behaved you are, if you have facial hair you can be denied an education," she said.

Ms Peebles said she asked the school principal and vice principal for the reasoning behind the rule, but was not given an answer.

"They said that was what had been decided by the board of trustees. That's how it is."

Kay Peebles said her high achieving son wanted to go to university and wanted to return to class.

Hornby High School principal Richard Edmundson declined to comment on the grounds it was a matter between the student, his family and the school.

Board of trustees chair Kay Banks also declined to comment.

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