School boy with long hair

Last week we heard the story of the school boy who was suspended from his school because his hair was too long. The principal of the school told him he could not attend school until he cut his hair. That was on May 22nd. The school is a Catholic state-integrated high school. It is not a private school. The school rules say that hair must be off the collar and out of the eyes. The boy, aged 16 and in Year 12, offered to tie his hair back into a bun, but still the school insisted that his hair must be cut.

The boy likes his school. He enjoys playing rugby in the 1st XV – the top team for the school. He likes wearing his school uniform but his hair is very curly and he thinks it looks better when it is longer.

The parents have supported the boy because they believe it is important to question things which do not seem sensible. The parents wanted mediation between them and the principal so that they could discuss it. However, in the end they took the case to the High Court and won. The judge ruled that hair length was not serious enough to suspend the boy from school. He went back to school on Wednesday, more than a month after his suspension. The school has to pay the court costs.


  • suspend (v), suspension (n) – told to stay away from school for a length of time
  • state-integrated – Catholic schools are public schools with a special character; the special character is Catholic religion
  • hair in a bun – shaped like a bun (round) on the back of his head
  • insist (v)– to say, very strongly, something you believe in
  • mediation (v) – discussion, usually with a leader, to get both sides to agree