Bedfordshire, UK – A school across the pond told a student to shave his mustache supporting “Movember” because growing facial hair is not regarded as an “inclusive” practice.
In short, “Movember” is a month-long men’s health movement during the month of November where men grow mustaches to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK. It’s a good cause, and, according to MSN, 13-year-old Gus Hooker just wanted to participate by growing his peach-fuzz out for the month.
His school, The Priory Academy, told Hooker he had to shave because growing a mustache is “not an activity that many children would be able to join in with.”
According to the BBC, Hooker’s grandfather recently beat cancer himself, which inspired the young man to participate in Movember. “Because I can grow a mustache, I reckon that if I did it I could raise a fair bit [of money],” he said. “I just wanted to show off my mustache, everyone wanted me to go for it.”
His father, Paul Hooker, said that the school made him shave because girls and many male classmates his age cannot grow facial hair themselves. Gus has been shaving since he was 9-years-old. Hooker the elder also said that many of the school’s faculty were growing their own mustaches to support the cause.
The school has stated that they cannot support a cause that isn’t “entirely inclusive.”
“Fundraising is an inclusive activity with all pupils having the opportunity to participate regardless of age or gender,” a statement said. “In a coeducational 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 coloring that are contrary to a smart uniform appearance.”
In the spirit of compromise, the school will allow Hooker to organize a Movember charity day during which students will be allowed to wear fake mustaches for a small donation.