Criticize School for Arbitrarily Suspending Student


Target: Principal of St. John’s College in New Zealand, Paul Melloy

Goal: Criticize college for suspending a 16-year-old student because of his hair

Lucan Battison, a 16-year-old student from St. John’s College, was suspended by his Catholic school in May for not conforming to the school’s hair standards. St. John’s College has a strict rule that states that boys must keep their hair short, tidy, off their collars, and out of their eyes. Battison refused to cut his naturally curly hair and argued that it would look unruly if cut short. He was completely willing to wear his hair in a bun to comply with the school’s hair standards, however, he was still suspended.

Battison’s family soon took their case to court to fight for his right to keep his hair long. Judge David Collins of the New Zealand high court ruled that Battison’s actions did not warrant suspension because they were not harmful or dangerous to any of the students and did not amount to serious misconduct.

According to his parents, Battison never broke any rules to begin with because he always wore his hair in a bun that kept it off his collar and out of his eyes. The school’s decision to arbitrarily suspend the 16-year-old student is disappointing especially when considering the fact that the lengths of girls’ hair aren’t questioned, but the boys’ are. Sign this petition and criticize the St. John’s College for its unfair decision to suspend a student.


Dear Principal Melloy,

It has come to my attention that you decided to suspend one of your students, Lucan Battison, after he failed to conform to one of your school’s rules regarding hair length. I understand that there is a strict rule that states that all boys must keep their hair short, tidy, off their collars, and out of their eyes. However, I believe that it was unfair of you to suspend Battison for refusing to cut his hair when he was willing to wear his long hair in a bun to comply to your standards.

Battison hasn’t really broken any rules because his hair bun is effective in keeping his hair off his collar and out of his eyes. To suspend a quality student from your school because of a detail as arbitrary as this is disappointing. His actions were not harmful or dangerous to any student and do not amount to a serious misconduct. Why would you suspend him for his hair length when the hair lengths of female students go completely unquestioned?


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Simon Gotz via flickr

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