NI school insists hair rule is legal

Solicitors in Northern Ireland have asked for a judge presiding in Belfast to back up its legal right to suspend a pupil whose hair was too long for school rules.

The parents of Grant Stranaghan contacted their solicitors after he was suspended from a Northern Ireland school for having a hairstyle that breached its rules.

The GCSE student was suspended for three days in November last year after his hair was deemed to be too long.

But now solicitors for Ballyclare High School have asked the Belfast High Court to agree that the suspension was within the remit of the law.

Ballyclare's principal joined the schoolboy's parents in court for the judicial review application, along with children's commissioner Patricia Lewsley.

Solicitors representing the Northern Ireland school's board of governors explained to Mr Justice Weatherup that haircuts were part of its rules regarding uniforms and involved issues regarding discipline and shared identity.

The school's solicitors added that girls with long hair are required to tie it up and boys were forbidden from having hair over their blazer collars.

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