Father hits back at critics over son's hair

JO MOIR
Last updated 17:36 16/06/2014
Troy Battison
John Cowpland / ALPHAPIX
TIDY: Lucan Battison ties his hair back to make it tidier.

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The father of a schoolboy heading to court after being suspended from college for his hair being too long is hitting back at critics.

Troy Battison is angry at public comments condemning his 16-year-old son Lucan, who was suspended from St John's College in Hastings, and wants to put the record straight that Lucan respects the school and the rules.

The Dominion Post reported last week that Troy had gone to the High Court seeking an urgent judicial review of the school's decision to suspend Lucan for continual disobedience, by not cutting his hair to comply with the school's policy of "off the collar and out of the eyes''.

Today, Troy has blasted critics - both on social media and television and radio shows, including Mike Hosking from Seven Sharp, who on Friday night said his advice to Lucan was, 'pull your head in, get your hair cut, and get back to the classroom, because life is too short''.

Hosking said he had a "strong distaste for parents who want to run schools and wipe their kids' bums''.

He criticised the Battison's lawyer, Jol Bates, for taking the case and Lucan's parents for "setting a bad example''.

Troy said his son simply wanted to be able to tie his curly hair back at school as it looked tidier than if he cut it short.

"Lucan has never been in trouble with school before.

"He knows respect and honour and just because he wants to be able to tie his hair back doesn't mean he doesn't know those things,'' Troy said.

There were students with tattoos at the school, including facial ones that could only be covered if the student wore a balaclava, yet the school turned a blind eye to that, he said.

"If there's going to be flexibility with that then why can't there be flexibility with my son, when his hair would actually look tidier tied back anyway.''

Troy said he could understand where the school was coming from with wanting to install respect and discipline, 'but my son knows both of those whether his hair is tied back or not''.

Comments made  by members of the public on talkback radio that Lucan was "rebellious and probably going to end up in prison'' were unfair and harmful to his son, Troy said.

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- The Dominion Post

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