A 13 year-old schoolboy was banned from taking part in ‘Movember’ because his class mates – and girl – can’t grow a moustache.
Gus Hooker, 13, who has been shaving since he was nine, was desperate to take part in the charity event after his granddad recently beat cancer.
But the youngster was left stunned when teachers stopped him from taking part in the fundraiser – because it’s unfair on other pupils.
Staff told him he was not allow to grow a moustache at school because younger students and the girls are not able to grow facial hair yet.
Gus was banned from growing a ‘tache – even though teachers are allowed to take part in Movember at Priory Academy, in Dunstable, Beds.
Officials at the school say Movember was unsuitable for a “co-educational school with young children” because not everyone can take part.
Gus’ dad Paul reacted angrily to the decision because facial hair does not breach the school’s dress code – and teachers are allowed to take part.
Paul said when he phoned Priory Academy to complain he was told Gus was unable to take part because no-one else can grow a moustache.
After being told he would not be able to organise a face-to-face meeting with the deputy head to discuss the matter further, Paul, took to the internet to express his anger.
In a blog post titled ‘Movember Discrimination’, he said: “There is nothing in the uniform policy [about moustaches] and some staff are doing it this year, as they did last year.
“Staff can do what they want with no chance of criticism or question by parents.
“I end up calling the school back, asking can I come in and discus it with them, explaining the reasoning of the no was not impressive to me. They promise to call back.
“They do and I speak to the deputy head involved. Again the main request to sit and talk has been ignored. The discussion left me with the following to think about.
“My son will be treated differently if he grow’s a mo. Ignore the uber deep voice he’s had since age 11 or the fact he’s been shaving since age 9
“They think it’s inappropriate for a 13 year old to want to join in with a charity event in this manner.”
He added: “Staff can do what they want with no chance of criticism or question by parents. They won’t budge or talk in person about this.”
Gus, who shaves every day, says his impressive ability to grow facial hair has turned him into something of an urban legend.
The youngster said: “I just wanted to show off my moustache
“A boy a couple of years below me came up to me once and told me that the one thing he had heard about this school before he came here was my facial hair.
“It’s a shame because my moustache would’ve raised a lot of money. Everyone wanted me to go for it.”
As a compromise, the School has allowed Gus to organise a year eight charity ‘mufti’ day on November 30, in which students will be allowed to wear fake moustaches with the donation of #1.
A spokesman for Priory Academy said: “Priory Academy has a long history of raising money for charities such as Children in Need, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Comic Relief, Keech Hospice Care etc.
“Fundraising is an inclusive activity with all pupils having the opportunity to participate regardless of age or gender.
“Whilst the Governing Body recognises that charities such as Prostate Cancer UK are very worthy, it can only support fundraising activities that are entirely inclusive.
“In a co-educational school with young children, growing facial hair would not be an activity that many children would be able to join in with.
“Whilst the school dress code does not explicitly mention facial hair, it does mention unusual hair styles and colouring that are contrary to a smart uniform appearance.
“However, the school has already spoken with the boy concerned agreeing that all pupils in Year 8 can contribute £1 and attend school on 30th November wearing a ‘false moustache’ to help raise money and increase awareness for the ‘Movember Foundation’.