The mother of a 15-year-old girl suspended from school for shaving her head to raise money for cancer charities says her leukemia-stricken husband is proud of her actions.
Emily Pridham was sent home from Mount Alvernia College yesterday and will not be allowed back until her hair grows back after she shaved it off as part of a cancer research fundraiser on Saturday.
The Catholic girls' school has cited its dress code policy for the temporary ban.
She told ABC radio her daughter had made the decision to part with her locks as a way to cope with her father's battle with leukemia.
"I understand that school rules have to be abided by. However, I've gone through the school rules and the uniform policy and nowhere does it say that a girl cannot shave her head," Ms Pridham said.
"At no stage did [the school] contact me or tell me. At no stage did I think I needed their permission for Emily to do this.
A Facebook group supporting Emily's decision to shave her head has appeared, with members calling the school's decision a 'joke' and an 'absolute disgrace'.
Emily's mother said her daughter had struggled with her father's diagnosis and saw the fundraiser as a way to deal with it.
"Ten months ago he was given six months to live and we had to explain all of this to Emily," she said.
"I didn't want her to do it. She had beautiful, long blonde hair halfway down her back and I told her she might regret it because she can't just stick it back on ... but she's just been so determined to do it."
The school has defended its actions to enforce uniform guidelines and has said other, "ongoing issues" were behind the suspension.
But Ms Pridham said the only trouble her daughter had been involved in included a warning over nail polish after the school formal two weeks ago and her use of a rude word in the presence of a teacher.
She said her husband, who has undergone a bone marrow transplant, was supportive of Emily's decision to go bald.
"He is very proud of her as everybody that knows her is," Ms Pridham said.
"He is very angry and worried about the rest of her academic year."
Ms Pridham said she had been in contact with the school about the suspension order.