Uproar after school ‘forces’ Islamic student to cut hair

Uproar after school ‘forces’ Islamic student to cut hair

It has been alleged that a school welfare officer drove the student, aged 14, to a barber last week and ordered the boy's hair be cut, without his mother's knowledge.

The principal of Adelaide Islamic College, Zulfiquar Ali, said the school obtained permission from his "caregiver" and that the boy was happy to have his hair cut.

"I spoke to the child myself and the child said he was very willing to get the haircut and his mother was not taking him to the barber [as] she was extremely busy," Ali told the ABC.

"I said 'Would you like us to help?' and the child said 'yes'."

However, Bayan Mohamed, a spokesman for the boy's parents, had a very different version of events, saying the boy had tried to stop the barber from cutting his hair.

"The boy was fighting them and the hairdresser himself was confused. Was he going to listen to the boy, or to the guy?" Mohamed said.

"The barber asked 'Who are you? Are you the father?' so it was out of control.

This version of events was supported by the boy’s mother, who has since lodged a formal complaint with the Education Department.

The mother said the school welfare officer, Sheikh Hassen Gabress, drove her son to a barber at Arndale shopping centre, her son had resisted the haircut and was crying when he got home later.