Hunt was enraged to learn that James, currently in year 7, would have to cut his hair or “find a different school,” despite having lived in the coveted Grammar zone throughout his schooling.
Section 11d of the Education Act 1989 states that a person who lives in the home zone of a school that has an enrolment scheme is entitled at any time to enrol at that school.
So it is his “statutory right,” living in zone, to go to Grammar, she said in the letter.
The mother doesn’t understand the difference between enrolment and continuation. Her son does have a statutory right to enrol at Auckland Grammar, but once enrolled and attending he has to obey the school rules. If he hits a teacher, wags school, refuses to wear the uniform etc etc, then he can be disciplined and even suspended.
A right to enrol does not mean you are exempt from the school rules.
James wears his hair long in memory of his late grandfather Paul Hunt – who was expelled from Freyberg High School, in Palmerston North, because his own shoulder-length hair broke school rules.
James’ grandmother, Anne Hunt, said James’ hair is important to him because it connects him to the grandfather he never got to meet.
Hunt said James would be devastated if he had to cut his hair.
Then he can go to Selwyn College.
Hunt questioned why issues around identity and self-expression were at a standstill.
“I wouldn’t allow James to attend a school that still applies the same rules that resulted in his grandfather’s expulsion fifty years ago,” she said.
Excellent – go to another school then.