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Social Worker Mother believes that her boy is above the law (just like Mum?).

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on February 25, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH New Zealand

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Sunday Star Times 25/2/07: 

 A Catholic school has expelled a pupil for getting a tattoo of an American rap musician on his arm – a $300 Christmas present from his social worker mum.

This was despite the student, 17-year-old Zavier Bygrave, pleading with Auckland’s Sacred Heart
College’s board on Monday: “I want to go to school.” He argued he wanted to finish his final year saying: “This tattoo is on the outside of my skin. It doesn’t change who I am on the inside.” Although Zavier promised to wear a long-sleeve shirt to hide the tattoo, the school ruled it “did not fit in with the Marist school values” and would be harmful for other students to see. The black-and-white tattoo of musician Tupac Shakur is on Zavier’s left arm, from his elbow to wrist. Zavier says he chose the tattoo, with his mother’s permission, because he felt “connected” to the dead musician’s lyrics – “his parents were not together either”.

Zavier’s parents split up last year. Cindy Bygrave says hearing the board dismiss her son’s entreaty “almost broke my heart”. Neither she nor Zavier “had any idea” tattoos were banned by the school. Exceptions are made only for cultural, religious or health reasons. Zavier, who was expelled for gross misconduct, has never been in trouble before and says the school’s reaction is “over the top”.

His mother will complain to the Education Ministry this week on the grounds the decision is discriminatory and breaches her son’s human rights. The school’s new principal, Jim Dale, says he is sad the saga erupted on his first day at the school – he was previously head ofAuckland’s Westlake Boys’ High – but the expulsion could not be avoided as the tattoo “is highly inappropriate”. Dale, also the chair of the Association of New Zealand Boys’ Schools, says the family should have consulted the school before getting the tattoo. Zavier’s grandfather Richard Maddix says the expulsion is unfair and wants an apology.He says the only solution proposed by the school was to remove the tattoo, which would be painful and costly. “(Dale’s) using a boy’s educational future to make a point,” said Maddix. He said about 20 others at the school have tattoos, including one in the First XV with ink “all over his back”. A parent of another pupil said: “This is a good boy who has been made a scapegoat. What is the principal going to do when he sees the other boys at swimming sports, or in the changing rooms or performing kapa haka or in Pacific groups? Expel the lot?”

Dale said if another boy at the school was found to have a highly inappropriate tattoo then they, too, could potentially be expelled. Youth Law solicitor Neha Patel, who assisted the family, said although Zavier had technically broken the school’s rules, she did not agree getting a tattoo was gross misconduct. But the family’s only option to fight the ruling was to go to court, which would take time and money. Cindy Bygrave said it was a sad end to Zavier’s six years at the school but she remained proud of her son.

“He’s a good boy,” she said. “He’s not in a gang, he doesn’t smoke weed and doesn’t drive fast cars. He’s no problem. He’s a good kid. And he actually wants to go to school.”


CYFSWATCH is with Jim Dale on this one – if the little brat and his adolescent victim mindset “Mummy” can’t obey the rules – piss off.


One Response to “Social Worker Mother believes that her boy is above the law (just like Mum?).”

  1. Jules said

    So shouldnt you be claiming that his freedom of speech has been breached/ I mean all he did was break an agreement between himself and the school (like you did with google) so whats the problem?

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