Is it the parents refusing the hair cut?

June 17th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The 16-year-old student suspended for having long hair could be back at college while waiting for his court hearing – if he agrees to a haircut.

was suspended from St John’s College in Hastings on May 22 and hasn’t been back since.

The school’s lawyer said yesterday that his suspension was lifted by the board of trustees on May 30, to allow him to return on the condition that he cut his hair first.

But his parents are standing firm, and still intend to go to the High Court on Monday to seek a judicial review of the school’s decision.

Father Troy Battison said yesterday: “Lucan has always maintained he wants to go back to school, but he wants to be able to tie his hair back and, to be honest, it looks tidier tied up anyway.”

He said he could understand the school wanting to instil respect and discipline in students, “but my son knows both of those, whether his hair is tied back or not”.

Lucan told TV One last night he did not think it was fair “to be excluded from school just because of my parents”.

That’s an interesting comment. That suggests it is his parents, not Lucan, who are insisting he not cut his hair. I can’t imagine a 16 year old would be the saying I’d rather go to court. so why would his parents be demanding he not cut his hair?

His father, who has long dreadlocks, said …

Okay, now it is all making sense.

If you choose to go to a Catholic integrated school that has a policy on hair length, don’t complain when they enforce it. There are plenty of around that don’t have such a policy.

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52 Responses to “Is it the parents refusing the hair cut?”

  1. fernglas (157 comments) says:

    Back in the early 70’s we went on a strike at my High School over the hair rules; it was all about a bit of youthful pushing the establishment boundaries. Such policies are often pointless, and this smacks of one that is there simply because it is there.Going back even further, my cousin was caned for wearing Beatle boots to a school mufti day when they had been forbidden. Do you remember May Ling See (sp?) who refused to wear a uniform because it was too strong a reminder of the re-education camps in her own country? I thought liberals were supposed to encourage personal freedom rather than adherence to pointless rules. And don’t give me that line about if you don’t like it, go elsewhere. It comes up on this website all the time, and ignores the fact that refugees and kids often don’t have that many choices.

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  2. Tauhei Notts (1,711 comments) says:

    Will the scrote’s father be eligible for legal aid in his approach to the High Court.
    I have a cuspidor handy, in case somebody writes; “yes”.

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  3. Manolo (13,746 comments) says:

    Long dreadlocks? Another aging hippie who refuses to accept time has passed.
    The kid’s future is at risk with such father. :-)

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  4. georgedarroch (317 comments) says:

    Why are we giving public money to such nonsense?

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  5. RRM (9,917 comments) says:

    Sideshow, don’t care.

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  6. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    If you choose to go to a Catholic integrated school that has a policy on hair length, don’t complain when they enforce it.

    Agree 100%. If the father doesn’t like the school rules – find another school.

    Sorted.

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  7. ciaron (1,431 comments) says:

    The man is clearly putting his hand up for Internet party selection.

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  8. Rich Prick (1,700 comments) says:

    I question the parents’ values, they seem to put a haircut above their son’s education. And worse, that appears to be against their son’s wishes.

    Notwithstanding that, hasn’t this story already had it’s trot in the media?

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  9. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    Excluding the kid from school is disproportionate and unjust.

    His behaviour is not a “harmful or dangerous example to others at school”.

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  10. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    He said he could understand the school wanting to instil respect and discipline in students, “but my son knows both of those, whether his hair is tied back or not”.

    So maybe it is the father that needs to learn some lessons on discipline…

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  11. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    RP – just think, the $20k or so spent on lawyers, court etc would be a handy start to the boy’s tertiary education. Also now every Hawkes Bay HR manager probably has probably put a newspaper clipping of the case in their ‘do not hire’ file.

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  12. Liam Hehir (125 comments) says:

    @gump – so what is the answer? Just waive the rule if somebody insists on breaking it? After all, he who wills the ends must also will the means.

    If you don’t pay your taxes and then refuse to comply with the sanctions levied against you, a man will eventually come to your house and take you away at gunpoint.

    In isolation, that’s “disproportionate and unjust” – in the context of a graduated response to enforce compliance, however, it’s a different matter.

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  13. Nukuleka (325 comments) says:

    It is no wonder that all Catholic secondary Integrated schools have waiting lists and that a significant number of non- Catholics would love to have their children to benefit from what Catholic schools offer. Most parents want schools with clearly stated rules which are enforced. Simple really!

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  14. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    One of the marks of the higher primates is learning how to pick your battles.
    This father is doing his son real harm by taking a stand over his hairdo. He’ll be forever tarred as the whiney kid with the pony-tail.

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  15. Mark1 (90 comments) says:

    I see this as a simple contractual matter. By setting out its rules in advance to the family the school is making an offer. The boy and his family accepted that offer and agreed to comply with the rules and communicated such acceptance to the school – thus there is a contract. It is a simple breach of contract by the boy for not complying with the rules that he previously agreed to and the school is complying with its remedies for the breach. Any further breach by the boy and he has repudiated the contract and the school may cancel the agreement.

    P.S. DPF – Stuff quotes the boy as saying “Lucan told TV One last night he did not think it was fair “to be excluded from school just because of my appearance” – not “parents”.

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  16. backster (2,171 comments) says:

    I suspect the father enlisted his son at a school with rules with the explicit intention of being able to challenge the rules. He probably isn’t even a Catholic, just a moron seeking to polish his ego.

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  17. 2boyz (262 comments) says:

    When the boy finally gets back to school he is going to have the living s**t hassled out of him. Thanks dad.

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  18. nasska (11,478 comments) says:

    The standard comment of the Conservonutters so far has been to the effect that rules are rules, blah, blah, he knew what the rules are, blah, blah, rules must be obeyed, blah etc & ad nauseam.

    But maybe the kid is following the rules & the principal is just pulling policy out of his arse & making it up as he goes. From Stuff:

    …..””The contract we signed four years ago stated ‘out of the eyes and off the collar’, which is exactly what Lucan’s hair is like when it’s tied back.” “…..

    My guess is that the court challenge will be centred on this.

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  19. Mark1 (90 comments) says:

    Nasska, I would suggest that included in the original contract was something along the lines of “The pupil agrees to comply with all school policies which may be reviewed or varied from time to time etc” or something like that. School policies and even workplace policies change and any change isn’t inconsistent with the original contract. Like the Treaty they can be “living documents” ……..

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  20. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    @Liam Hehir

    “so what is the answer? Just waive the rule if somebody insists on breaking it? After all, he who wills the ends must also will the means.

    If you don’t pay your taxes and then refuse to comply with the sanctions levied against you, a man will eventually come to your house and take you away at gunpoint.”

    ——————-

    The answer is to impose a punishment that is proportionate to the offense. We don’t execute people for jay-walking.

    And if you don’t pay your taxes, you won’t be arrested or taken away at gunpoint. The worst that can happen is that the IRD will impose substantial fines and penalties, and if you don’t pay those then the IRD can petition to have you bankrupted.

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  21. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    @georgedarroch

    “Why are we giving public money to such nonsense?”

    ——————-

    Are we talking about giving money to integrated schools? Or something else?

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  22. Bob R (1,370 comments) says:

    ***And don’t give me that line about if you don’t like it, go elsewhere. It comes up on this website all the time, and ignores the fact that refugees and kids often don’t have that many choices.***

    @ fernglas,

    He could get a haircut in Hastings for about $20.

    *** I thought liberals were supposed to encourage personal freedom rather than adherence to pointless rules. ***

    He’s free to choose another school. In any case, I don’t agree that the rule is pointless. Setting standards for appearance and grooming (eg, shaving) are quite reasonable.

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  23. Captain Pugwash (98 comments) says:

    As a parent I’ve been fond of school rules. Sometimes its been a last stand against something stupid that the child wants to do; be it tongue piercing, tattoos, weird & expensive fashion (thank you school uniforms!!) the list could go on. from my humble experience this kid and his parents are the bane of many parents & teachers (and other pupils if the truth be known) lives.

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  24. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    @Mark1

    “I see this as a simple contractual matter. By setting out its rules in advance to the family the school is making an offer. The boy and his family accepted that offer and agreed to comply with the rules and communicated such acceptance to the school – thus there is a contract. It is a simple breach of contract by the boy for not complying with the rules that he previously agreed to and the school is complying with its remedies for the breach. Any further breach by the boy and he has repudiated the contract and the school may cancel the agreement.”

    ————————-

    It is not possible for a person to contract out of over-arching legislation.

    In this case that legislation is the Education Act.

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  25. lifesgood (15 comments) says:

    The whole thing makes me ill. I worked in an integrated high school for many years and have seen this type of thing before. “Everyone is out of step but my precious Johnny” The truth is that whenever this happened at our high school it was the students and other parents who were most supportive of the rules. This father is setting his son up for misery and ridicule. I don’t know how this boy is ever going to succeed in life…show me a workplace where there are no rules. The father looks like a complete loser with a chip on his shoulder.

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  26. Mark1 (90 comments) says:

    True Lifesgood but under section 72 a school’s Board can make any bylaws it thinks necessary. For an integrated school under section 30 of the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975 by enrolling a pupil at an integrated school the parent shall accept as a condition of enrolment that the pupil is to participate in the general school programme that gives the school its special character. Both those provisions allow for school to make policies and hence contracts.

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  27. Liam Hehir (125 comments) says:

    @gump

    And if you don’t pay your taxes, you won’t be arrested or taken away at gunpoint. The worst that can happen is that the IRD will impose substantial fines and penalties, and if you don’t pay those then the IRD can petition to have you bankrupted.

    Ok – so what happens if you ignore the demands for penalties, then don’t turn up to the summons, then refuse the arrest?

    All laws, even the most benign, are underpinned by force and the Crown’s lawful monopoly on that force. Here is a good example of that principle in action: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundy_standoff

    Point being – you can’t just judge the punishment by the prima facie seriousness of the offence. You need to look at the larger context and the principle involved.

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  28. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    @Liam Hehir

    “Ok – so what happens if you ignore the demands for penalties, then don’t turn up to the summons, then refuse the arrest?”

    ——————–

    If you ignore the lawful directions of the court, you’ve committed a new offense that will be prosecuted at the court’s discretion.

    I appreciate your comment about the larger context and principle involved. So what exactly is the principle in this case? What harm or danger does the long hair cause? (those are the only grounds for exclusion under the Education Act)

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  29. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    I am sick of these drop-kick parents getting air time. No one is forcing them to send their kid to a school with hair-length rules. The argument that his hair length will or wont cause some sort of ‘harm’ is irrelevant. They knew the rules when he enrolled. Change the fucking channel if you don’t like the program.

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  30. Longknives (4,737 comments) says:

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  31. Mobile Michael (451 comments) says:

    Maybe Lucan could take a picture of that other long haired rebel to school. The one that was around 2000 years ago. I can’t see the harm and think the policy is over the top.

    I went to a Catholic College in the 80s, we had plenty of boys with long hair and it caused no issues. We did have an ear-ring policy (Studs and small rings only) after a girl got a long dangly one caught and ripped her ear which also applied to the boys.

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  32. lilman (958 comments) says:

    Rules are haircut,get the bloody thing.
    Next it will be I don’t want to do anything,but you give me a house,pay my bills and give me money!!!!!!
    Oh,we already do.

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  33. Longknives (4,737 comments) says:

    Lucan is going to get a fright when he leaves school and gets a job-
    “You wan’t me to turn up at 8am??” “But I’m Lucan..I don’t DO rules man..”
    “You want me to wear a suit??” “But I’m Lucan..I don’t DO rules man..”

    The real world is going to kick you in the balls kid! Grow the fuck up…

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  34. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    If you choose to go to a Catholic integrated school that has a policy on hair length, don’t complain when they enforce it.

    And if a Catholic school chooses to integrate and take public money, it shouldn’t complain when others try to enforce rules around reasonable suspensions/expulsions :-)

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  35. lilman (958 comments) says:

    Piss off Graeme,you pay to be alowed to send your non-catholic kids to our schools pal.
    Like it or be quiet.

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  36. HB (321 comments) says:

    gump
    he hasn’t been excluded – he is free to return once his hair meets the requirements.

    Also, he is past his 16th birthday, so no obligation there either.

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  37. nasska (11,478 comments) says:

    Methinks the saviours of standards at St John’s might have bought themselves a fight. Far from being an indulgent namby pamby parent the kid’s old man seems to be a battler…..probably not on the bones of his arse either:

    …..” Hawke’s Bay stockcar driver Troy Battison, who returned to racing on Saturday night for the first time after receiving a serious neck injury less than 12 months ago in a spectacular hit from clubmate Regan O’Brien.
    “I thought I would be a little bit nervous but when I got out there it was if I had never been away,’ said Battison. “The neck isn’t 100 per cent and probably never will be but I’ve got all the right safety equipment now … I’ve learnt the hard way.’
    During Battison’s last visit to the Burwood Spinal Unit in Christchurch he was given the all clear to return to racing.
    There was even talk the former Napier Old Boys Marist division three halfback may return to rugby but he has decided against that.”……

    Ref: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=10976202

    If the father can succeed with dreadlocks down to his arse then probably his equally gutsy son who risked his life to drag drowning people out of the ocean will probably make a go of it too.

    I take my hat off to the Battison family & wish them every success.

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  38. mara (784 comments) says:

    When I see dreadlocked people in a food store I feel uneasy.

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  39. nasska (11,478 comments) says:

    Harden up mara…..what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. :)

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  40. mara (784 comments) says:

    nasska, thanks for the folk wisdom. I shall immediately stop worrying about all the little creatures that fall out of dreadlocks and fall into the shaved ham, cabbages or Swiss cheese. Also, I will overlook worries about food handlers with rotten gums and green teeth. I’m not fussy.

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  41. ross411 (834 comments) says:

    Catholic school? Long girlish hair on a boy? There’s a joke here about him being put in there as bait, so his litigious parents can take the school to court. Hmm..

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  42. MrTips (95 comments) says:

    Graeme Edgeler
    Read the PSCI 1975
    Section 30″
    Participation in school programme
    By enrolling a pupil at an integrated school the parent shall accept as a condition of enrolment that the pupil is to participate in the general school programme that gives the school its special character.

    And that’s just for starters.

    Lawyers eh?

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  43. jcuknz (704 comments) says:

    They could roll the hair up and wear it like a Sikh would ? That would comply with both ‘out of eyes’ ‘off the neckline’ rules. :)

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  44. Couchpotatoe (33 comments) says:

    And his hair complied with both of those criteria. Me thinks it isn not about the hair but an attitude on both sides that does not want to compromise.

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  45. JohnM (7 comments) says:

    Stuff has published a correction this morning:
    “Correction: Lucan Battison told Seven Sharp he did not think it was fair to be excluded from school because of “my appearance”, not “my parents” as reported yesterday.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/10169911/Boy-in-hair-row-abused-by-chairs-daughter
    That sounds a more plausible thing for him to have said, and rather destroys the basic line of argument in this post.
    Still, the kid and his parents should pull their heads in, and book Lucan an appointment either for a haircut or for a uniform fitting at another school.

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  46. ciaron (1,431 comments) says:

    Still, the kid and his parents should pull their heads in, and book Lucan an appointment either for a haircut or for a uniform fitting at another school.

    Or even some extra elocution lessons…

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  47. itstricky (1,830 comments) says:

    Don’t see what the father’s cut has to do with it. Not surprised there are a bunch of commentators, like Manolo, who judge books by their covers.

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  48. Left Right and Centre (2,975 comments) says:

    First of all – people who give their children fucked up names are always in the news more. Do you think that encourages more people to give their children fucked up names ? Could we see possibly see more ‘Lucans’ after the publicity ?

    Second – one talkback host was saying the school should cave in the greater interest of the boy’s education. Ah yeah – so they should be the ‘bigger person’ in the face of dipshit parents and give in for the boy’s sake. But wait a second – when I talk to secondary school kids and ask them about their results – they’ve told me that it doesn’t matter if you don’t complete everything in any one given year – you can go back and finish it off the next year. How or why that works I’ve got no idea, my understanding is that it’s all based on passing units or collecting credits – so in a way there’s not even really any such thing as ‘an academic year’ anymore. Someone will no doubt and I hope put me right if hopelessly wrong. So – his education is not really ‘suffering’ like it would in the old days where a whole year would be down the shitter. (And part of the dumbing down of the education system because pupils these days must be . . . well . . . not getting smarter in the old-fashioned sense. Brilliant at pirating downloads and working a smartphone and texting blindfolded – hahaha).

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  49. ChardonnayGuy (1,206 comments) says:

    Inevitably, perhaps, I was reminded of this piece of Kim Il Stupidity from North Korea…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let's_trim_our_hair_in_accordance_with_the_socialist_lifestyle

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  50. MC2000 (19 comments) says:

    The parents are being a bit silly putting principle before pragmatism. But for goodness sake The school needs to back down and ditch the rule. What business does a taxpayer funded school in the 21st century have regulating hair length? It’s a rule for the sake of a rule, completely arbritary. What if this was a girl’s school and they forced all the girls to cut their hair? That would be unacceptable so why is it OK to force this on boys?

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  51. itstricky (1,830 comments) says:

    First of all – people who give their children fucked up names are always in the news more. Do you think that encourages more people to give their children fucked up names

    That’s a f*d up name? You need to get out more bro, that seems like a fairly mundane and sensible one to me. Not that too far removed from Lucas and, consequently, Luke. Ain’t that a biblical one?

    should be the ‘bigger person’ in the face of dipshit parents and give in for the boy’s sake

    They are dip shits for suggesting it is a silly rule? Whew, life is tough in your world isn’t it?

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  52. Left Right and Centre (2,975 comments) says:

    itstricky – Lucan is an ugly name mate. It’s not Luke, is it ? I’m not a fan of Lucas either. Isn’t lucas a type of shock absorber ?

    That’s like saying ‘Petran’ is ok because it’s almost like Peter. Um – sure, ok.

    No – to you it seems mundane compared with the seriously seriously seriously fucked up names – usually names that belong to kids that have the snot abused out of them by same dickhead feral breeders. Lucan does seem normal compared with something like ‘Skyler Sunspot Honeysuckle’. It doesn’t matter how much anyone gets out – no-one has heard of all of these made-up bullshit names that idiots lumber their children with.

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