Lucan Battison, centre, gets ready for the ball with help
from Bella Williams, left, Millie Burns and Grace Barley,
right. Photo / Duncan Brown
Hawke's Bay student Lucan Battison and his controversial
head of hair got the last minute all-clear to attend his school
ball last night.
On hearing the news he would be allowed to attend St John's
College ball at Napier's War Memorial Conference Centre,
Lucan, 16, told the Herald on Sunday he was happy to be back
with friends after missing weeks of school.
"Pretty cool I get to go. [There's] really no reason why I
couldn't," Lucan laughed. "It's cool I get to see my mates
after missing out on school."
On Monday, the youth and his parents took St John's to the
High Court over its decision to suspend him for refusing to
cut his hair.
On Friday, Justice David Collins ruled in Lucan's favour.
Lucan had been out of school during the contested case and,
though he was allowed back this week, he was told he wouldn't
be allowed to attend the school ball.
Late yesterday, that decision was reversed.
Lucan said he wasn't plotting any special hair-do for the
"I'm just going to tie it up in a bun like normal."
In good spirits, Lucan held a pre-ball gathering for friends
at his Napier home and said it was good to "suit up" again,
but not to attend court this time.
As for a lucky lady, the 16-year-old said there wasn't anyone
"Nah, not taking a date. Girls take too long to get ready.
Just gonna go with mates."
Lucan's father, Troy Battison, said the family had been
subjected to "hurtful" criticisms but were also overwhelmed
by the backing they had received.
"Honestly, the support from the Hawke's Bay area and past
teachers has been phenomenal.
"I mean, criticisms are going to come from people who don't
know what the full story is. And Lucan's only 16; he doesn't
listen to talkback radio or anything like that so he doesn't
pay attention to criticisms. It's stuff that goes over his
shoulder," Battison said.
Lucan, a Year 12 student, returned to St John's on Wednesday
after Justice Collins asked the college to take the student
back until a decision could be reached.
"We've just left it at that," said Troy Battison.
- by Brooke Bath