Fellow principals are standing by a local high school's rules which saw one student told to shave or be stood down.
In late February, Paerangi Haimona told the Rotorua Daily Post her son Kauri Huriwai-Flavell, 15, was warned he would have to shave his moustache or he could be stood down for disobeying Rotorua Lakes High School rules.
He did not shave and on his return to school after a weekend, he was sent home until he had shaved.
This week Haimona addressed the school board of trustees at its monthly meeting to request a change.
"I don't want to fight with you guys, I just want them to choose, to have that freedom to choose," she said at the meeting.
She has been invited to call for a review of the rule in writing to the principal.
John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh said his school had similar rules about facial hair and the exceptions were for religious or cultural reasons.
"Schools are entitled to make bylaws ... including rules around hairstyles, jewellery and facial hair as long as they are consistent with law of the land and not unreasonable."
He said one reason rules were enforced was to prepare students for life after school.
"Schools are an important conduit for preparing students for the adult world.
"Generally in the workforce, there are rules around personal grooming. If you work in retail you have a uniform or hair tied up. If you're a lawyer you have to dress a certain way."
Walsh said if facial hair was allowed, schools would have to make other exceptions to rules around personal grooming.
"Students could have bright purple hair, green hair, come to school as they please on the basis of freedom of expression. Is that something they [parents] think is a good idea?
"Schools have rules, they should be public and understood by the community before parents enrol so they can decide if the rules and culture of the school sit with their own world view."
Rotorua Principals' Association chairman Rawiri Wihapi said rules were rules and they needed to be abided by.
"The principal is imposing the policies that have been there for years ... It's all about the students' looks and representing the school."
Wihapi said it was easier for schools to have blanket clean-shaven rules than distinguish between tidy and untidy facial hair.
"The good thing about Jon [Ward] was he was willing to sit with the community and discuss the issue further. He's not saying 'this is the rule, this is the way it's going to stay', he was willing to sit down and consult with the parents."
Rotorua district councillor Fisher Wang, 19, who attended John Paul College, said while facial hair didn't affect a person's ability to learn it was a chance for schools to educate students on grooming and cleanliness and prepare them for the future.
"Since when did having a moustache affect students' capability to learn?
"I guess coming from a school's perspective they want to have a tidy image. What they can do is teach them how to groom, or have a moustache but still have a tidy image."
Wang said when students entered the workforce there would be expectations, rules and policies about facial hair so high school was a chance to ingrain good practices.
"Now is a good time for the school, and other schools to review their policies, to see how they can better accommodate our diversity and the uniqueness of everyone.
"Rules are there to keep order, and there is a reason why they are there, but it doesn't mean that they can't be reviewed or changed."
Rotorua Lakes High School principal Jon Ward said the board of trustees had welcomed hearing Haimona's perspective and agreed on a way forward.
"This is following a formal process of communicating in writing to the principal, who will then engage in a formal community consultation regarding school rules.
"All parties were happy with this approach being followed."
Rotorua Community Youth Trust chief executive Jen Murray said rules needed to be followed but students were encouraged to follow the correct processes if they wanted to change them.
"It doesn't matter if it's a big rule or a small rule, you have a voice.
"If youth want a voice they need to follow process ... You can always challenge it."
Haimona was not available for further comment but outside the meeting, she confirmed she would be writing to the principal to call for the review of the rule.
The Rotorua Boys' High School and Western Heights High School principals did not respond by deadline. - Additional reporting Felix Desmarais, Local Democracy Reporter