Two 14-year-old boys have been barred from their school classes because they've grown beards.
The Muslim pupils have spent almost a month being taught in isolation for defying rules at their Catholic school against pupils flaunting facial hair.
Both claim their religion outlaws shaving - and their families back them.
But head teacher Xavier Bowers at Mount Carmel Roman Catholic High in Accrington, Lancs. Defended the school's stance, saying: "The rule in school is all boys have to be clean-shaven. I've spent a lot of time researching and speaking to Muslim elders."
He insisted that nothing in Muslim holy book the Koran says beards are a must.
A third of the school's 750 children are from ethnic minorities.
Mr Bowers said he spelled out the ban on moustaches and beards to Muslim pupils before the summer holidays - and the two unnamed lads were the only ones to return sporting facial hair.
A summit involving the families, teachers and the Lancashire Council of Mosques has been held.
One woman relative raged: "It's pure discrimination." Dennis Ford, chairman of the school's governors, backed the head - saying: "It is a rule for everybody."
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