Boy, 14, banned from school for having moustache

Posted 3:39 AM by crkota in Labels: , , ,
It is a rite of passage for teenage boys - the often ridiculed appearance of a first moustache.

But when Akaash Iqbal, 14, came into school with a slightly hairy upper lip it turned out to be no laughing matter.

He was sent home and told not to return unless he shaves it off. But he and his family say the school is overreacting over a 'bit of fluff' and refuse to remove it.

Akaash has now missed nearly two weeks of schooling and last night his parents accused the school of jeopardising his education.

His father Asif Mahmood, 42, said: 'It's a nonsense. He's not shaving - he's only 14 and if he starts now he'll have to do it for the rest of his life.

'They told us the moustache was not part of the uniform. I thought it was a joke at first.

'It is only a bit of fluff - you could hardly call it a moustache but he is just a child and shouldn't have to shave this young.

'They should make it a girls' school. I'm honestly staggered by it.

'I had a call telling me to have a razor on standby, shave Akaash when he got home and send him back.'

He added: 'I wasn't going to do that. He's just a growing boy. He'd end up with stubble all over his face by the time he's 16.'

Mr Mahmood said his son is still at home and he is due to meet school officials soon to discuss the matter.

The incident happened at Manchester Academy in Moss Side, Manchester. The charity-run school has a uniform policy that even staff are expected to comply with.

Akaash, of nearby Fallowfield, is a Muslim, so unlike Sikhs he has no religious reason to avoid shaving.

However, the teenager says he does not want to start shaving regularly at his age as it will ruin his skin.

He said all his schoolmates are supportive and have vowed not to shave if they are targeted by the teachers.

The schoolboy, who is due to take his GCSEs next year, said: 'They've embarrassed me and they've embarrassed my family. I was walking down the corridor to registration and one of the teachers took me into a room.

'I was made to stay there for an hour. They then told me that my moustache was against the uniform rules and told me to go home and shave it.

'I'm not shaving it at my age. It will ruin my face. I've got a GCSE to sit and am taking the rest of them next year but I can't go to school. It's just not nice. I feel left out.'

A spokesman for Manchester Academy, which has more than 700 pupils, said it was a standard requirement that all children are clean shaven.

She said: 'We do not believe it is appropriate to comment on individual students within the Academy.

'The Academy has established rules on personal appearance and dress which students are expected to adhere to.'



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