A 4-year-old boy has been suspended from his pre-K class in Texas since late November because the school says his hair is too long and violates its dress code.
Taylor Pugh has been separated from his class and sent to the library to study with a teacher’s aide since Nov. 24.
The school board did offer a compromise on Monday where the boy could braid his hair and pin it up. But the parents rejected it because the mother says her son likes his long and the braiding would make his scalp bleed according to the Associated Press.
“The boy’s parents, Delton Pugh and Elizabeth Taylor, have argued that it is unfair to punish Taylor for his longish locks; it suggests, they say, that the district cares more about appearances than education.”
“ ‘I don’t think it’s right to hold a child down and force him to do something,’ Mr. Pugh, a tattoo artist, told The Associated Press. ‘It’s not hurting him or affecting his education.’ ”
“ ‘It’s a trade-off,’ said one board member, Gary Bingham, an insurance agent, in an interview. ‘Do the parents value his education more than they value a 4-year-old’s decision to make his own grooming choices?’ ”
The little guy says he misses his friends.
“According to the district dress code, boys’ hair must be kept out of the eyes and cannot extend below the bottom of earlobes or over the collar of a dress shirt. Fads in hairstyles ‘designed to attract attention to the individual or to disrupt the orderly conduct of the classroom or campus is not permitted,’ the policy states.”
“The district is known for standing tough on its dress code. Last year, a seventh-grader was sent home for wearing black skinny pants. His parents chose to home-school him.”
“On its Web site, the district says its code is in place because ’students who dress and groom themselves neatly, and in an acceptable and appropriate manner, are more likely to become constructive members of the society in which we live.’ ”
“Taylor said her fight is not over. She and her husband are considering taking the district to court or appealing to the State Board of Education.”
” ‘I know that there are a whole set of steps we can take,’ she said.”
OK parents and teachers what do you think: Should a school dress code control the appearance of a child’s hair? How do Georgia public schools with dress codes handle hair?
What should the standards for hair length and appearance be based on? Should boy standards differ from girl standards?
Should the parents agree to the braids? Should they pull their child from the school? Should they fight on? What would you do?
What do you think of the school’s Web site statements?