Lucan gets to go to the ball after all
There have been a lot of tears at the Battison household in the past five weeks. But a phone call on Saturday afternoon to say 16-yearold Lucan could attend his first school ball was the beginning of a new chapter after a highly publicised High Court battle.
The Hastings student won the war over keeping his long locks, but it was the U-turn on a decision to ban him from the St John’s College ball that was the icing on the cake.
‘‘It would have been disheartening if I couldn’t go, especially because I can see the venue from my bedroom window,’’ he said yesterday.
Lucan returned to school last week after Justice David Collins, during Monday’s hearing, asked the school to take him back pending his decision and without interim punishment.
However, Lucan said he was told on his return that it was for ‘‘educational purposes only’’ and that was when he realised he wasn’t welcome at rugby training or the school ball.
Lucan has missed five weeks of school after being suspended on May 22 after ignoring requests to cut his hair. He offered to tie it back in a bun but this was unacceptable to the school.
Catching up on missed class time would be a struggle, but his teachers were supportive and prepared to help him get up to speed.
The legal battle also cost a hefty amount. Lucan’s dad, Troy Battison, said he would have to reconsider plans to cut down his hours at work.
Lucan said his initial reception at the ball was ‘‘a bit hyped up’’.
‘‘Things calmed down though and everyone just treated me the same and it was cool to see my rugby mates.’’
The hardest thing to deal with throughout the ordeal had been the media attention, Lucan said.
‘‘Just the way they followed my whole life. It just all went too far. It’s fair enough that people have their own opinions, but the majority don’t know the full story and never will,’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t think I’ve done anything huge. I’ve just stood up for what I believe in.’’
Lucan says he has no intentions of becoming a lawyer or human rights activist. ‘‘ I’ve learnt a lot about how people judge you and how prejudiced they are and critical.’’ Battison, 41, said he would have been the first parent to defend the school and insist the boy involved get a haircut, if he hadn’t been the parent in question.
‘‘The first thing that would have come to mind is kids are getting away with everything these days, bring back the cane and discipline them. I understand that opinion. But there was more than met the eye in this case.’’
Fresh start: Troy Battison and his son, Lucan, are looking forward to getting back to normality.