No mo or no show at exams

Last updated 00:00 16/11/2007

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An elite Wellington school is threatening to bar a senior pupil from NCEA exams for not removing his Movember "bum fluff".
Blog: What part of Mo don't you understand?

Graeme Yule, Scots College principal, said the 18-year-old's moustache contravened standards and appearance guidelines. The private school was firm on this.

He would be banned from level-three exams if he turned up unshaven, though he could make alternative arrangements with the Qualifications Authority.

The Secondary Principals Association is calling for common sense, saying the anti-moustache stance could be legally challenged.

But the Education Ministry says it is unclear whether schools can stop pupils sitting exams.

A message posted on Internet auction site Trade Me this week by "Pat" called the school's actions "pathetic". Her son was a top pupil and had agreed to shave his mo - despite having sponsorship for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. "This is why I hated school, rules for the sake of rules. What possible harm can his bum fluff do?"

Another woman complained her son's school had banned Movember pupils from prize-giving awards.

Mr Yule said he was happy for the offending pupil to do a "swot-athon" or sponsored run, and would even sponsor him himself.

The independent Presbyterian school's rules set out what was expected in terms of dress, hair length and general appearance.

However, Movember founder Luke Slattery said the teen should be praised for supporting a charity raising prostate cancer awareness, not punished. The school stance was disappointing.

The charity event in November raises awareness of prostate cancer and other men's health issues.

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