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Nicaragua Drops Hairstyle Ban

June 12, 2000

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) _ The government overruled complaints about a 12-year-old boy’s hairdo, ordering school officials to let the German-born student compete in the national mathematics championship.

Education Minister Fernando Robleto overruled a local ministry official, who had banned Theo Sullow from competing in the contest’s second round. Sullow won a first, regional round in the northern town of Esteli.

The local official, Mercedes Garcia Guevara, argued that Sullow’s hairstyle _ described as a tall pompadour with a part down the middle _ violated regulations. Local newspapers and the government’s child protection agency had criticized the ban.

The government’s ruling Monday ``is a victory not only for Theo, but for all children who have the right to their own tastes and their own identity,″ his mother, Angelika Sullow, said by telephone.

Her husband, Hubertus Sullow, had accused Garcia Guevara earlier of ruling against his son because of his nationality.

The family, originally from Gottingen, Germany, has lived in Nicaragua since 1991.

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