A Te Puke High student is pushing back against "draconian" rules forcing him to shave his beard off for school.
Brody Hide, 17, told Newshub he grew out his beard over the summer holidays, and older and more well-respected with the facial hair.
"It made me feel better, gave me a bit more confidence in myself."
But Te Puke High School's principal Alan Liddle said the school rules on facial hair are clearly laid out for students and their parents.
"When students and their parents/caregivers choose to enrol at our school, they sign an agreement with the school stating that they will abide by the rules and regulations of the school as stated in the prospectus."
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Mr Hide admits he knew the rule, and knew he'd be told to shave, but plans to argue his case in a meeting with the principal and the Board of Trustees.
"I'm wanting to try to change the rules around hair. When it's a tidy beard or just some colour in someone's hair it doesn't affect learning."
School boards can make and enforce rules about uniform and appearance of students, including hair rules.
Mr Liddle said there were ways to appeal rules to the Board of Trustees but that nothing had been proposed against the facial hair rules so far.
"Students and parents/caregivers have the opportunity to present proposals to the board on ideas and changes they would like the board to consider."
Mr Hide said he usually sticks to rules, but "when it comes to rules that don't affect our education at all then I don't understand why we have them."
In January, 13-year-old James Hunt was told he had to cut his hair if he wanted to attend Auckland Grammar School, which is known for its firm stance on appearance.
Mr Hide said growing a beard was an expression of uniqueness that should not have been taken away from him.
"We should be able to express ourselves without looking like we're all the same. We should be able to express our individuality."
Brody will be appearing on The Project tonight, at 7pm.