School turns away Shave or Dye campaign pupils
A GROUP of Dublin secondary school pupils were turned away from school after they shaved their heads to raise money for charity.
Eight teenagers from O'Connell Secondary School in Dublin 1 were prevented from attending classes and taken to their vice principal's office when they showed up with their new hairdos.
The group of boys, all aged between 16 and 17, had decided to take part in Today FM's Shave or Dye campaign to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society after discovering that other schools in the area had allowed their pupils to do so.
"We decided to take part in the campaign two weeks ago we so we applied for the package online," Leon Macken (16) told the Herald.
"We wanted to show respect for cancer sufferers because we've all known someone affected. I wouldn't know someone our age that has experienced it but each one of us has a relative, a granny, an aunt, that has had cancer, and some have died from it so we wanted to raise awareness.
"We decided to go ahead because my package arrived before (that of the other boys).
"We thought it would be a good idea to fundraise as we go along so that we had more time to raise money.
"We got help from our families as well, my mum Paula shaved my head and some of the other lads' hair on Monday and she's also raising money for us.
"It's not the first time we've raised money for charity, last month we were packing bags in Tesco for children in Romania, and next I want to do sponsored runs."
Leon said that he was turned away from school on Tuesday morning with seven other pupils from fifth and sixth class.
"The bell rings at 8.50am and we usually wait in the foyer until the vice-principal takes us to assembly.
"As we were waiting there, they took us all aside and to the office.
"We were told that this was going against school regulations and asked why we didn't just dye our hair.
"We explained we would have to shave it all off anyway because the dye doesn't usually go away easily and that we were doing it for charity but we were sent home anyway because it's against school policy," he explained.
"We were worried because some of us have mock cert exams next week.
"We didn't expect that this was going to be a problem because other students from Larkin (Community College) had done it and they were allowed to do so."
The Herald contacted the boys' school principal Gerry Duffy who assured that the issues had been addressed and the eight pupils would be back in class today.
"We spoke to their parents and it is all resolved," Mr Duffy said.