Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hair Is Not A Moral Issue

Pink locks get Michigan girl locked out of school

When the kids and I moved back to Texas in the summer of 2006 and I took a teaching position in a rural north Texas school district, I remember being completely dumbfounded to discover that the school actually required boys to CUT THEIR HAIR. Hunh?

Not only did they have to maintain their hair in a prescribed manner, the school restricted all students from using any artificial hair coloring that wasn't a "natural" color. Boys also could not wear braids or cornrows.

No male student could have a piercing of any kind. Girls could only have two piercings on each ear, no more.


I had just taught in an urban school district where we were just glad the students showed up to school every day. Hair and piercings weren't high on our list of stuff to get worried about. Certain types of clothing, yes -- particularly those which were overly revealing or which declared allegiances to gangs -- but hair? And an earring? Puh-leeze.

When you grow up and get a job, you have to have your hair a certain way according to your boss' preference and your clientele. As a high school kid, though, why can't you have a little fun and experiment with hair color? Who cares if your hair is blue today? What does that do to detract from your educational experience? Sure, the first one who does it will be a distraction, but in a very short time no-one will notice or care.

And how the HECK does it change things for a boy to have long hair? That one is a major mystery to me.

I need to research and see what the dress codes for some of the larger districts around here are. This is the most ridiculous thing I've found about this place (which I love -- don't get me wrong -- this is the best place EVAR) and I hope that someday people can just learn to get over it.

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