Should hair length be regulated by school dress codes?

4-year-old Taylor Pugh says he's growing his hair out to give to cancer patients. His school says it's not OK and suspended him. (AP)

Four-year-old Taylor Pugh says he's growing his hair out to give to cancer patients. His school says it's not OK and suspended him. (AP)

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.

From The New York Times:

“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.

The AP story explains more on the dress code:

“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.”

I personally think the little guy is lot cuter with his hair down. (AP)

I personally think the little guy is lot cuter with his hair down. (AP)

“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?

189 comments Add your comment

shaggy

January 13th, 2010
7:15 am

Yeah, that’s good for the kid.
Worry about what is on the head, instead of what’s inside. That logic works every time. We have some really smart educators and parents these days. NOT!

A

January 13th, 2010
7:20 am

What about some cultures, like Native Americans, that value long hair on men? Honestly, let the kid wear it in a ponytail and integrate him back into the classroom. If the other kids give him a hard time, maybe he’ll ask his parents to cut it. If not, it sounds like they are going to cut it eventually and donate it to Locks of Love, which is a fantastic charity.

mom2alex&max

January 13th, 2010
7:23 am

I’m wondering about the legality of that in a public school. I don’t know anything about that, but I would think there are limits to what they can demand. Maybe I am wrong.

When I went to private school there was not only a uniform, but a strict grooming code as well. Guys could have NO beards, hair could not be below the collar, and girls hair HAD to be put it in pony tails, braids, buns, whatever. No loose hair. And of course, NO make up whatsoever. But that was a private school.

motherjanegoose

January 13th, 2010
7:35 am

First of all, this child is in Pre-K. If the parents do not like the rules then, they can keep him home.
Or, are there not other options in the area?

Does his hair bother me….no, there are other things that do.

Children go to school and they learn to follow rules. We know many adults who do not want to follow any rules and they can grow up to be trouble. There are kids who do not want to follow rules, whose parents send them to military school or they go into the service and they come out as very respectable adults: WHO CAN FOLLOW RULES.

Rules are usually made to make things work. Yes, some are ridiculous.

I am thinking the dress code rules are set to make the school and more productive place to learn and I agree with the second paragraph. There are schools who will not allow students to wear shirts with certain logos or pants that fall around their hips. Some schools have uniforms.

When I was in HS, the kids could smoke in a smoking area outside at the end of the parking lot.
They still tried to smoke in the bathroom and thought no one would notice. Oh yeah!

We, as adults, follow rules:

Our neighborhood has rules about house paint color and the type of mailbox we can have ( among other things) …we knew this when we bought our house 12 years ago…there are also rules at the pool, such as no large floats.

When I fly, there are rules about things I can/cannot take on board….will an 8 ounce hand lotion affect my neighbor, as it is stowed in my suitcase…NO….but the rule is nothing can be 8 ounces.
Same as this child’s hair not affecting others but the rule says NO.

Neal Boortz ( sp) mentioned yesterday that the Dad has several tatoos and piercings ( his absolute right) but perhaps this school is not a good fit for their child. Has anyone seen him?

Dress codes try to keep things calm and the focus on learning.

To me, it is not so much about the dress code but about the parents fighting it. What message is that sending the child? I am SO glad not to have that child in my class! Yes, teachers do think this about kids!

Last week, I spoke with a Kinder teacher about the weather and whether or not they had to go the playground. Some GA schools do not take the kids out if it is below 40 degrees. She told me that she had a parent who is in her class most every day it is BELOW 60 and says, you are not going to the playground are you?” Right…move to Hawaii why don’t ya?

motherjanegoose

January 13th, 2010
7:36 am

Theresa….my comment is gone…can you find it? Maybe it will show up?

MomsRule

January 13th, 2010
7:38 am

So the school has a published dress code but should break the rules for this particular 4 year old? Why? What makes him and his parents so special?

“We want to go to your school but we don’t want to follow your rules.” Why do so many people feel the rules/guidelines shouldn’t apply to them?

Long”ish” hair on a 4 year old boy? That’s the issue this family feels is worthy of their time to battle. Really???

motherjanegoose

January 13th, 2010
7:45 am

What’s with the other kids in the mirror of the top picture…are they siblings with sort hair?

@ momsrule….loved your comment….perhaps my initial post will show up.

Becky

January 13th, 2010
7:52 am

They should make the girls’ cut their hair short, too – if it’s lice they’re worried about.

I’m presuming this is the only logical reason behind the short hair rule at the school;)

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 13th, 2010
7:58 am

mjg – I will find it as soon as I can get the kids fed –

Becky — based on the statement from their website that AP pulled I think it’s about kids seeking attention and distracting others with their hair – no mention of lice that I saw –

RJ

January 13th, 2010
8:11 am

Rules are rules. If the parents don’t like it they can transfer him to another school. If they let the hair length slide, what next?

Lisa

January 13th, 2010
8:14 am

They say that the kid is growing his hair for “locks of love.” Doubtful. I’m sure that’s just the parent’s defense, trying to get public opinion on their side.

For the hair to be that long, he would have had to have it growing out well before he had any idea of “locks for love” or anything about cancer patients.

oneofeach4me

January 13th, 2010
8:14 am

Interesting topic Theresa.

This is what leads me to believe that it’s more about trying to “control” the children not to mention prejudicial (in the judgment sense not the racial one) ~ “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.” ~ REALLY?? So a 4 yr old, that is empathetic enough to grow out his hair to donate to other kids with Cancer is NOT (or will not be) a productive member of society?? And just for the record, kids go through ALL types of stages and end up being great leaders. In my opinion, trying to make all children conform to one way of thinking and one way of doing things is more likely to create kids who will turn into problem adolescents.

So in short, if it’s a PUBLIC school, then they shouldn’t regulate the length of the hair, whether it’s a boy or a girl. If it’s a private school they have the right to regulate however they choose, as the parent’s have a right to choose not to send their child there
.

JATL

January 13th, 2010
8:18 am

I’m all for school uniforms, but I don’t think hair should be a part of it. Who cares? Personally I think it’s beyond ridiculous for there to be ANY sort of dress code, hair code or anything else other than “dress your child in seasonally appropriate clothing” for preK!

Hi there

January 13th, 2010
8:32 am

As much as we would like to say to the school to stay out of it, they really can’t because parents demand more from our schools than ever before and most schools have gone to the private school dress code format. I feel that it is within the schools rights to determine how long a child’s hair can be, girl or boy. They have given him other options as to how he can wear his hair while at school, so I feel they have done their part to correct the situation. If the parents don’t like it, they need to make other arrangements. Life if full of rules and regulations and what message are they sending their child at such a young age? If you don’t like the rules, complain and make a stink and they will have to change them for you? Sorry, but that’s not the way life works.

Jane

January 13th, 2010
8:33 am

Have you seen the kid’s dad? NASTY!!!

It’s good this is happening for the kid, this may be his one chance to focus on education.

Liz

January 13th, 2010
8:36 am

Poor kid.

His parents aren’t married, dad is a tattoo “artist”, and they think the world should bow down to them. Kid’s got it rough.

motherjanegoose

January 13th, 2010
8:39 am

@ one for each PUBLIC schools do have rules too. Some are crazy and some are not ( to me).

@ Jane….can you find the link to see the Dad?

I am still wondering about the siblings ( ?) in the picture at the top. Their hair is quite short…what is up with that?

mom2boys

January 13th, 2010
8:39 am

I agree completely with MJG. And I think the whole “locks of love” is BS designed to engender sympathy from other parents. That kid probably had no clue about that program until the parents latched on to it in a desperate attempt to sway opinion.

I don’t think it matters whether it’s a public school or a private school. The school is allowed to set some standards even if it’s a public school.

It doesn’t matter what the school’s reasons are — the rules are stated and the parents knew the rules before they enrolled in the school. The parents are sending a terrible message to their children: if we don’t like the rules for something then those rules just don’t apply to us. We do what we want. Good luck to those parents when they have teenagers!

Andrea

January 13th, 2010
8:43 am

I agree with the school board on this one. Any issue, be it t-shirts, slogans, symbols, or long flowing locks, that become a distraction shouldn’t be tolerated. There are many other options (private school) for the parents if they feel they can’t conform to the district rules.

This family, in my humble opinion, has far bigger issues. I am not buying the story that they were growing his hair for charity. While it is a great sentiment, I think that came up after the fact to sway public opinion. This family wants the rules changed to accomodate them and that is just not right. If you don’t like the rules, move your child.

@MJG: your comments were spot on!

oneofeach4me

January 13th, 2010
8:44 am

@Liz ~ Sometimes it’s not about expecting the world to bow down to you.. sometimes it’s about standing up for what you believe in and your individuality. The father being a tattoo artist has nothing to with what kind of upbringing he has nor an indication of what kind of child he will be. A couple I know, the father is a tattoo artist and they have some of the most well mannered, smart and expressive kids you will ever meet. They do not condone misbehavior and are very active in their children’s lives. Just because their life doesn’t reflect yours doesn’t mean they are any less intelligent or caring than you.

oneofeach4me

January 13th, 2010
8:47 am

@MJG ~ I am aware that public schools have rules. I know that some have uniforms, some don’t. And I 100% support uniforms and dress codes. I just don’t think that regulating the LENGTH of hair is of any value. So what then… girls must have long hair since boys must have short? That’s all I am saying. Wasn’t implying that rules are stupid.

YUKI

January 13th, 2010
8:49 am

I agree that they need to follow the rules. Sometimes life is tough….you can’t always get what you want even if you don’t agree with others. I have not seen a picture of the dad but I can only imagine…if they don’t want to comply with the rules of the school then they should make other arrangements. If I decided I wanted to wear jeans to work everyday….my company would not go for that. I chose to work for this company so I must follow their rules. That is the way life works. This seems like a stupid fight to me. The kid can have long hair when he is older. I think very young boys look foolish with really long hair anyway. This little boy is so cute, and would be with short hair as well. The parents need something better to do.

bigswol

January 13th, 2010
8:50 am

Schools, especially in Georgia need to concentrate and getting these kids to graduation. They have a hard time as it is getting good test scores out of the students. Why dump another distracting element on top of what they are dealing with now.

If the kids can do their work and stay out of trouble leave them be. The schools already have a handful with the ones with short hair and have no intention of coming to school to learn.

null

January 13th, 2010
8:51 am

This kid is destined for a life of having jobs where his name is embroidered on his shirt. Good job, idiot parents. Why do you need a license to drive, hunt, fish, cut hair, do taxes, strip, etc…..but any 2 idiots can have a drunken, methed-up night in the backseat of an ‘84 Camaro in the bowling alley parking lot can have a kid whose life they are bound to ruin. I see it every time I go to Wal-Mart and see those barefoot kids with a mullet or rat tail or whatnot…I weep for the future :(

Scoutmamma

January 13th, 2010
8:55 am

Please. I work in a school and we have much bigger issues. Like the kids keeping their pants pulled up, etc. Hair would be much lower on the disciplinary totem pole. However, if it is a written rule – it needs to be enforced.

Bunnie

January 13th, 2010
8:56 am

This mother is a moron looking for attention. First of all, a four year old should not be wearing the pants (hair) in the family. Now his whole life revolves around his hair and HIS MOTHER’S decision to act like a narcissistic, self-righteous prig.

She needs to SHUT UP and cut his hair if she wants him in public school, or home-school him. Private schools won’t put up with this, either.

Be Nice

January 13th, 2010
8:58 am

Why do the other kids in the photo seem to have crewcuts?

Bunnie

January 13th, 2010
8:58 am

PS – and I seriously doubt the Locks of Love thing. That was not mentioned until very recently, and it’s a pathetic and insensitive attempt to cover up wanting to have the world revolve around one woman (the mom).

FCM

January 13th, 2010
9:01 am

“You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution ”

Oh sorry I thought we had traveled in the Wayback Machine to the 60s. When are we going to hear the British Envasion and the Beatles are the culprit?

;)

Good Morning All.

Yes, dress codes should be enforced for a reason. They cannot where flops or crocs at our school. Certain shirts. Heck in my HS days (1984) punk/early goth or grunge became popular. One girl showed up with a bright parrot lime mohawk. They told her she had to change it as it was disruptive. She then dyed it hot pink. She also had rings in her nose, lip etc…just think Vortex. Anyway, the finally let her go to an alternative school program (night school). It is over 20 years later and I still remember that girls hair so yeah it was probably disruptive.

It is like I tell my kids “you do not need to agree with the rules, you need to follow them.” Of course I also believe in civil disobedience and other (not litgious) methods of changing the rules :)

FCM

January 13th, 2010
9:01 am

where = wear

JATL

January 13th, 2010
9:02 am

Well, Theresa -my comment is also gone. It will magically appear as soon as you post saying you will look for it, I’m sure!

usually lurking

January 13th, 2010
9:05 am

I don’t have a problem with the hair, but I’m wondering why he’s sitting on the table when it appears that there are perfectly good chairs available.

@MomsRule – how does one decide what issues are worth battling? A lot of positive social change has come about because people questioned rules and did something about it. Personally, I think the hair rule is silly; however, I wouldn’t fight it. But, where do you draw the line between complying with or questioning a rule that is unjust? And, to what extent would you support your child’s questioning of a rule that you personally don’t think is worth fighting but your child does?

Goldilox

January 13th, 2010
9:08 am

“Fads in hairstyles”? Does the district actually have this language in their policy? Where are they – back in the ’60’s? I do, however, agree with the restrictions against baggy pants – they just make you look stupid and trip when you’re running away from the cops.

DAVID

January 13th, 2010
9:11 am

SCHOOL OFFICIALS (with all their advanced degrees) LACK all Common Sense….ZERO TOLERANCE…means not having to make a judgment on individual cases….

Julia

January 13th, 2010
9:12 am

I was taking the boy to school this morning and there was a kid walking out of his apartment building with his head down.. He had that stupid hair cut all the boys want now that do that flippy thing on the side.. I told the boy, that kid needs a hair cut. I do not think the schools enforce the dress code at all – if they did why do half the girls that are standing at the bus stop look like hookers? Their skirts are up to their ya ya’s…

mom2boys

January 13th, 2010
9:15 am

@usuallylurking — you addressed your question to MomsRule, but I am offering an opinion: I would support my child questioning a rule if said child was not 4 and incabable of understanding the history of civil disobedience and precedent-setting power of setting out to change a rule…if the child had a logical and thoughtful argument and a plan…and if the rule was something that could affect society and if the child wasn’t just trying to get around something inconsequential such as the length of his hair.

Becky

January 13th, 2010
9:17 am

I agree that they should follow the rules of the school..What I don’t understand is how people can say the length of your hair ahs to do with learning..As for the parents, the Dad being a tattoo artist doesn’t make him a bad Dad..I have a nephew that owns his own tattoo shop, he has three children (that are very well mannered), owns his own home, and so forth..He is not a bad guy, nor are his children..Just because a erson has tattoos, they aren’t always bad people..

Julia

January 13th, 2010
9:19 am

a 4 year old in my house questioning authority would not fly just saying

Becky

January 13th, 2010
9:23 am

sorry for all of the typos..

tomiswho

January 13th, 2010
9:24 am

Lawsuits on school dress codes have made it all the way to the Supreme Court, and as far as I know have always been found in favor of the school board. However, these suits have been won on the argument that the school board can have a dress code. What these folks need to do is to sue based not on the dress code (a sure loser) but instead to bring a sexual discrimination lawsuit. They can win that one!

cld

January 13th, 2010
9:25 am

Like many others have said, I doubt the Locks of Love story. Sure, there probably are some four-year-olds who are deep enough to think of doing things for others. But growing out their hair for chemo patients? Not likely. As far as how long the hair must have been growing . . . there is a little girl in my son’s daycare class (they’re one and a half) with hair as long as this boy. So it actually may not have taken THAT long. And I have known about Locks of Love for 10 years, so the timetable is possible. Unlikely, but possible.

Personally, I don’t think public schools should dictate hair length. It’s a fine line . . . I don’t think they should allow mohawks and pink hair, but I see no problem (from an instructional and distractional standpoint) with shaggy-haired boys. Would I let my son do it? No. I trim his little toddler hair every time it starts to hang over the tops of his ears. Someone mentioned ethnic groups that value long hair on men – I think there also are some religious groups that do the same. Maybe the suggestion would be that those people attend private schools among their own demographics? I don’t think so. Now, the (white) guy in my college English class who came with frizzy dreadlocks down to his shoulders, and probably never washed his hair the entire semester, had distracting hair. The frat boys who showed up with shaggy hair like this kid? Not so much.

ZachsMom

January 13th, 2010
9:26 am

Take a shower, cut your hair, pull up your pants and learn some manners or you wont be working here.

The school could have a unisex rule…hair longer than the collar must be pulled back and apply it to all. School is like work….I don’t dress in my private life like I do on the job. My place of employment has a dress code mainly for safty reasons.

cld

January 13th, 2010
9:29 am

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating the long hair or the route these parents took. The child isn’t old enough to make these decisions, IMO. I’m just saying, I don’t think the school board is right either.

JMP

January 13th, 2010
9:32 am

Momsrule, mom2boys and Julia’s 9:19 I agree w/your comments, simply put! Now I will take a gander at the dad, if I can find him. However, it does appear that the other children in the background of top photo appear to have neat, little haircuts…hmmmm

TnT's Mom

January 13th, 2010
9:32 am

Yes, they should follow rules. But dont school officials have brains to look at exceptions on a case by case basis? Do they make the girls have short hair? Hair above the collar and ears is a tough rule for public school. My 12 yo son has longish hair similar to this boy, and he is a straight A student. It hasn’t affected his learning.

Is this boy really a distraction in his pre-k class? His hair is clean and combed. I thought he actually looked better with it down than the ponytail bun thing mom did.

Liz

January 13th, 2010
9:32 am

@ MJG – if you click on Theresa’s article where it says: “Here’s background on the story.” The third picture down shows dad in the background. He’s so popular that you can even google image him and get a pic!

Guy

January 13th, 2010
9:35 am

Julia, which bus stop is that?!?!

Sug

January 13th, 2010
9:42 am

Individuality is NOT allowed in government schools. everyone MUST be the exact same.

Julia

January 13th, 2010
9:42 am

Ok really the one with his hair pulled up in the pony tail with it slicked down to his head.. HE LOOKS LIKE A LITTLE GIRL

cld

January 13th, 2010
9:43 am

Julia – at first glance, I thought that photo was of a little girl!

Julia

January 13th, 2010
9:45 am

TnT’s Mom they do have brains.. this cant be a case by case thing.. if they do then every body can get by with every thing.

We all know just how freaking mean and cruel kids can be.. Yes make them the laughing stock of the class where the other kids are making fun of him.. BAER!

Williebkind

January 13th, 2010
9:46 am

tomiswho

January 13th, 2010
9:24 am
Yeah! The parents are teaching their kid to be gay or to accept homosexuality. I get it..those parents know that a 4yr old should make big decisions–like what sex he likes.

Julia

January 13th, 2010
9:47 am

Guy this was not at his bus stop but this kid had on a skirt if she moved her panties would show and she had on boots like Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman. Yes the first thing I though was.. girl did you go in your mothers work closet?? This was a middle schooler too!

Williebkind

January 13th, 2010
9:49 am

If I owned the pre-k I would sue the parents for child neglect.

oneofeach4me

January 13th, 2010
9:50 am

Has anyone considered that MAYBE just MAYBE the other kids (siblings) have short hair, and this young boy has longer hair because he really DOES want to donate it to Locks of Love?? I mean.. if the mom was an attention w**re.. why not go all out?? I’m just sayin.

IM

January 13th, 2010
9:51 am

School dress code allows long hair. It just that hair cannot cover eyes. Just look at the photo – you think if you covered kid’s right eye, he could see what a teacher is writing on a board? These parents are clueless! This kid will soon need glasses – his hair is getting in a way of vision. Simple as that.

This is another family where 15 minutes of Internet fame is put in front of child educational priority. Nothing more, nothing less.

Julia

January 13th, 2010
9:52 am

Williebkind this goes on a whole another topic the the balloon boy’s parents, why are they not room mates in jail and why are those kids taken into child custody?

Wounded Warrior

January 13th, 2010
9:52 am

Looks like the Equal Opportunity Clause needs to apply to all, both boys and girls. If they allow special exceptions for reglious beliefs then, they need to do it for cultural ones also. I am Native American and an Army veteran. A job is one thing, but pre-k? Are they trying to squash any creativity he has before he even starts 1st grade. Do the teachers have nothing better to do, like teach colors, or is it all about 3 hour nap time in pre-k?

JMP

January 13th, 2010
9:54 am

Had a minute to look at Dad(thanks to the info Liz’s 9:32). Julia, your posts are speaking to me today! I’ll continue lurking…

Julia

January 13th, 2010
9:55 am

Wounded Warrior my dad is full blooded Cherokee – this child is not in a tribal school – His parents are not special and they need to follow the rules. Yes I do understand the trail of tears.

Nikki

January 13th, 2010
9:56 am

Eh…much more to worry about in this day in age. However….if it’s in the rules, it’s in the rules. When you attend a school, public or not–you are agreeing to the rules. If you don’t want to abide by them find a different school or home school. Personally, I dislike seeing little boys with long hair (usually b/c mom and dad are the wanna be bohemian type–yuck), but once again…if you agreed to the rules you need to have the character to abide by them—case closed.

Mom123

January 13th, 2010
9:57 am

That kid looks mildly retarded. A crew cut would do him good.

Julia

January 13th, 2010
9:58 am

oneofeach4me – if that is the case.. Then why did she not pull the teacher aside in the first place and tell her what they are doing? I would have done that but then again I dont do things to just piss off the school board either.

Goldilox

January 13th, 2010
9:58 am

As long as his hair is clean and put into a real ponytail (lower on the back of the head, like guys wear) I’m OK with it. Whatever they do, they should not make that little top-of-the-head thing like girls wear.

Julia

January 13th, 2010
9:59 am

Mom123 – I am sorry but that comment is VERY offensive… I have 2 brothers in wheel chairs with CP.. They are NOT retarted!

IM

January 13th, 2010
10:01 am

What i do not get is that parents claim that long hair is kid’s personality. You must be kidding? Do you count how many times a day a parent says “No” to a 4 year old? If you apply the same logic, maybe not eating vegetables, not doing homework, hitting a friend is kid’s personality as well?

I think long hair has nothing to so with kid’s personality. It is what kid’s parents want, and thus they are not saying no to it.

oneofeach4me

January 13th, 2010
10:06 am

@Julia – Who says the parent’s are doing it just to piss off the school board?? Did you not read the part where the father said there are PLENTY of other’s boys in the school district that have hair LONGER than that of his child? And it doesn’t say whether or not the mom pulled the teacher to the side. It wouldn’t have mattered anyone, it’s the administration and school board that enforces those rules. The teacher probably has her hands full with other things. Heck the way people are pre-judging this family on this board, his child just might be being singled out. Who knows.

Guy

January 13th, 2010
10:07 am

Julia, seriously, which bus stop is it that half the girls that are standing at the bus stop look like hookers? Their skirts are up to their ya ya’s…?

oneofeach4me

January 13th, 2010
10:08 am

@IM.. my son liked his hair longer. But he wouldn’t sit still long enough to get it combed regularly. I told him, u can’t sit still to get it combed then it comes off. Needless to say, it’s gone. Maybe as he gets older and can tough it out we will try it again. It really may be part of his personality though, especially since his siblings have short crew cuts.

Jane

January 13th, 2010
10:08 am

oneofeach4me – you believe the father? The old “hey, they’re doing it too” routine. You don’t think the school did something about the others too?

MomsRule

January 13th, 2010
10:09 am

@usuallylurking, you ask good questions that have complex answers. I don’t think I can justly answer them in a blog forum.

In this situation, the parents do not have to send their child to this school. They made a choice to do so and I don’t believe the school should have to changes its rules for one kid. The world does not revolve around one person. That’s an issue today. So many people seem to think that society should bend every rule to suit the individual.

I think many rules at my kids school are silly but they still have to follow them. Why? Because that is where they are attending school. We’ve had many discussions on this subject. While I may agree with their gripe, it doesn’t change the fact that it is a rule and therefore it needs to be followed.
Now, once they are old enough to really form their own opinions (not happening at 4), if they want to change policy on something, I will support them as long as they have sound, just arguments, and a plan in place to attempt to make the change. I won’t support the approach of “I don’t like it so I’m going to take my ball, go home and cry foul.”

I can’t help but wonder… if the parents are acting like this when the kid is 4, over his hair length, what about in a few years when he has a cell phone and Mom wants to text him in the middle of his algebra test. “What? Why can’t MY kid have his phone in class? I need to be able to reach him at all times. It makes him feel secure. I don’t care what your policy is! This is my kid. We are special.”

Julia

January 13th, 2010
10:10 am

Guy it was a school bus stop in cobb county – up in Kennesaw

cld

January 13th, 2010
10:12 am

IM – I think you’re right in that it’s less about the kid’s personality and more about the dynamics at home (and parents’ personalities). Apparently these parents don’t say no often enough. If you click on the “more info” story, there is a photo of the kid lounging on the top of that table, right in front of his dad. Plus, the dad says the son “made [him] pinky-swear” that the dad would grow out his hair, too. Seriously?? Your four-year-old “made” you pinky-swear? Obviously they never say no. Kids test boundaries, looking for the line they aren’t supposed to cross. Parents need to teach their children where the line is. Apparently that hasn’t happened in this case.

Julia

January 13th, 2010
10:13 am

oneofeach4me every time I told my mom – well Tammy gets to do it… she would come back with – well if Tammy jumped off a bridge would you follow her?

Mom123

January 13th, 2010
10:21 am

Julia, isn’t a little early to be hitting the bottle? Could you have at least laid off while you were pregnant?

Julia

January 13th, 2010
10:23 am

Mom123 I hope your children are not not nearly as nasty as you are… How dare you

ashley

January 13th, 2010
10:27 am

i have a 3 year old son and his hair was about the same length. he loved it and did not want me to cut it. i think that the school board is being unfair and very judgmental. his hair is not that long and it is shorter than alot of other kids hair that we see on t.v.! i don’t see how they can make the decision on weither or not to cut someone elses chids hair. it is not their decision to make. what is next are you going to suspend a little girl who has short hair, because our society doesn’t beleive that girls should have short hair?! why can’t a boy have long hair?! the school system shouldn’t worry about the childs hair but his education and his health. besides the little boy is growing out his hair for donations for a wig company for cancer patients. that says a lot about his character and that he is a loving little boy and should be able to continue with whatever look he wants.

catlady

January 13th, 2010
10:33 am

This is another case where it would be better if the media did not report, like Octomom’s situation, for example. No hoopla and the “problem” goes away when someone mistakes him for a girl. Really, all you are doing is feeding the problem. Drop it. Let it be a local matter between the parents and school board.

ATLien

January 13th, 2010
10:38 am

If schools don’t enforce their dress code – and in this case, hair length for boys – then the next thing to happen is bullying from other kids. Then, the school would be blamed AGAIN!
Rules are rules. If you don’t like them, make different choices.

Julia

January 13th, 2010
10:42 am

ATLien I agree with you – take for instance that kid here that hung his self – over bullying…

pixie

January 13th, 2010
10:42 am

I wish all public school would make & follow the rules regarding the hair. It’s hard to tell boys from girls anymore.

IM

January 13th, 2010
10:44 am

Ashley – what else your 3 years old loves? Do you let him do everything what he likes or wants to do?

Nikki

January 13th, 2010
10:48 am

Your 3 year old likes it or YOU do?

oneofeach4me

January 13th, 2010
10:48 am

@Julia that was not my point. The little boy didn’t come home and say “I want my hair long because other boy’s in the school have their hair long”. My point was that the father felt as if his son was being singled out due to the fact their are other boys with long hair that get away with it.

@Jane ~ I don’t know if the school did something to them or not. I don’t know if the father is telling the truth about other kids getting away with it, but I also don’t know if he is lying. Like I said before, the way people on this board are judging that family his son may very well have been singled out.

I say if the parents can move him to another school that doesn’t regulate hair length they should do so. However, not every school district allows kids to attend any school in the district as Cobb County does. They may not have a “choice” as far as public school is concerned. The child is still attending school, the parents just don’t want him singled out. So the school board doesn’t find it distracting enough for him to COME to school, just to sit in the classroom?? Okay.

IM

January 13th, 2010
10:49 am

Is 4 year old growing hair for donation or his parents are? 4 year’s old focus is on playing, eating and sleeping and not researching what donations to make. I honestly think parents came with the donation idea, not the kid.

TechMom

January 13th, 2010
10:49 am

In a public environment you have the opportunity to plead your case up the chain but that does not mean you have the right to ignore the rules set forth. Cut his hair, plead your case and IF the policy changes, THEN let him grow his hair out.

I do think it’s important for kids to get to make *some* decisions for themselves as it teaches them independence but there has to be boundaries and it has to be within the rules set forth. My son has mostly gone to private school so there has typically been a strict uniform and appearance code. In 4th grade we switched schools to one that was lax on their dress code and did not have a length of hair policy for boys. My son decided to grow his out. I think it was more of an outlet of individuality for my son as this was the first time he wasn’t told he had to cut it as soon as it touched his collar. When his hair got too distracting to him and one of his teachers, we made him a deal. He could have long ‘girly’ hair if he wanted, but he would have to wear a headband in class to hold it back like the girls do (it wasn’t quite long enough for a ponytail) so that it wouldn’t be so distracting. That lasted a couple of months but by the time summer arrived and it was hot, the hair was short again at his request.

The same strict school my son went to when he was very young had a rule about women wearing skirts or dresses and even as a mother if you were chaperoning a trip, you had to adhere to the dress code. I certainly have no issues with women wearing pants and rarely wear skirts or dresses but when I chose to send my son to school there, I agreed to their rules and therefore had to abide by them. If you choose to be a citizen of the US, you choose to abide by the rules of our land or face consequences. If you choose to be a student then you choose to abide by the rules set forth by the school you are attending.

oneofeach4me

January 13th, 2010
10:51 am

Give me a break. Hair and bullying are NOT the same thing. The school board is letting him attend, just segregating him. Due to his hair length??

Mom should keep his hair as it is and just pull it back into a low ponytail so he can at least be with his friends.

Sug

January 13th, 2010
10:51 am

Julia, you are probably the meanest poster I have seen up in here in a very long time.

Nikki

January 13th, 2010
10:51 am

I agree, IM. I think that the donation thing came along as an after thought, an excuse. What 4 year old do you know who made a decision like this (or parents made) wouldn’t be telling the whole class on a consistent basis?

Hey, Julia...

January 13th, 2010
10:53 am

…that was not a good thing to give a suspected pervert like Guy the location of the school bus stop where the potential for abuse may exist – think next time, please!

Julia

January 13th, 2010
10:54 am

TechMom did your son agree to the head band thing? My son would have stroke if I even brought one near his head

mom2boys

January 13th, 2010
10:55 am

Some of the responses on this blog from people who are supposedly “parents” explain a lot about kids these days…hair length at the age of 4 has nothing to do with creativity, what a waaa waaa argument. And these parents would not be judged had they not created this debacle in the first place, much like the balloon boy’s parents. They are out for their 15 minutes. They may think they are all about individuality and creativity, but again I will say, let’s see how they like that when this kid is 15 and refuses to abide by any house rules because he is special. “Special” kids like that usually end up in jail a few times.

April

January 13th, 2010
10:55 am

I have worked I schools with strict requirements for hair and with loose policies. Hair and dress do make a difference. Kids focus better and concentrate on what is going on in the classroom better when they are not constantly wondering what others are wearing or waiting to someone’s outrageous outfit or hairstyle of the day. If the rule was in place and published when school started, the parents are completely in the wrong. They need to set good examples for their kids in making food choices and expressing yourself and your individuality in ways that are Appropriate for your environment.

Julia

January 13th, 2010
10:55 am

Sug and what is this? Julia, isn’t a little early to be hitting the bottle? Could you have at least laid off while you were pregnant?

April

January 13th, 2010
10:57 am

Sorry, that should be good choices – the iPhone sometimes thinks it knows best!

hey mom2boys...

January 13th, 2010
10:58 am

kids with short hair ALSO end up in jail a few times. Hair length does not determine whether or not a kid will follow rules.

Julia

January 13th, 2010
10:58 am

mom2boys – amen!

mom2boys

January 13th, 2010
11:01 am

@ hey mom2 boys…is that what I said or are you incabable of getting the point? The point is not the hair length…the point is whether or not the child is taught that he or she does not have to follow the rules and that he or she can always be the exception…it’s those kids who don’t think they have to listen or follow rules, and that mommy and daddy will always get them out of trouble that will end up in jail. Hair length is irrelevant.

samlee

January 13th, 2010
11:01 am

Dress codes are important because we have become so lax as a society in accepting any and all kinds of dress. As a high school teacher, I will say that dress and appearance outside of the norm is a distraction. However, this is a 4 year old. I am not sure he knows what it means to donate hair to cancer patients or if that is something that he has been told. In his photo, he appears to have an “attitude”. I think this could be the beginning of child that goes through life thumbing his nose at rules. The bigger picture needs to be look at here. Long hair? Following rules? I vote for following rules and express your individuality in a different way.

Sug

January 13th, 2010
11:11 am

How many of you in this blog follow ALL rules to the “T”? How many of you obey speed limits? How many of you drink and drive? How many of you have done illegal drugs?

I think ya’ll are being extremely judgmental about some child’s hair. So what? I know several boys with extremely long hair and they are very loveable. Some of my best male friends have long hair.

hey mom2boys...

January 13th, 2010
11:11 am

what about kids that get persecuted because of how they look even though they are good kids with good grades??

oneofeach4me

January 13th, 2010
11:12 am

I second that SUG

Liz

January 13th, 2010
11:13 am

Sug – you’re the one who said: “Individuality is NOT allowed in government schools. everyone MUST be the exact same.”

Sounds like you’re the mouthy one.

Jane

January 13th, 2010
11:15 am

So SUG, are YOU the one who gets to determine which rules need to be followed? If you don’t follow the rule you get punished. Yeah, some of us speed – if we get caught we pay the fine. What’s your point?

You follow the rules. You don’t like the rules, you can try to have them changed – but don’t break them and then cry because you were busted.

Mom of 2

January 13th, 2010
11:16 am

There are rules for a reason, and if one child is given special treatment telling him he doesn’t have to follow those rules, then what kind of adult will that make him? We had hair/clothing restrictions when I was in school, and it made us better for it. Without rules and boundaries, you are telling people it’s ok to just do whatever you want, whenever you want.

Julia

January 13th, 2010
11:17 am

Sorry Sug but NO do not drink and drive and sorry I have never done illegal drugs so please try again. If I do speed and get caught.. Yep I pay the price…

Tom

January 13th, 2010
11:17 am

Yeah regulate hair, pants for boys, shirts for girls.

Julia

January 13th, 2010
11:19 am

The last thing I want to see is any ones butt crack

Julia

January 13th, 2010
11:22 am

Oh and as far as octomom – if she were in the shoes of the “family of 200 kids and growing” Where they are not getting any support it would be one thing but this woman is not able to even take care of her self – much less her brood. With that being said, they were saying the Dr could lose his license.. I think he should keep his practice and pay child support for those kids!

Nikki

January 13th, 2010
11:22 am

So, what Sug is saying is that since adults disobey rules (speeding, etc) it should be okay to teach our kids to go back on their word and not follow the rules.
Great…just what the world needs is people who teach their children they are entitled to live exactly how they want to no matter what they agreed to.
It’s really not about the hair—it’s the rules one agrees to and having the character to abide by them.

WTH?

January 13th, 2010
11:23 am

I think schools have gone too far with the “dress code”. Would they do the same if a little girl wanted her hair cut short? would they make her grow it? What happened to expressing your individualism? I can understand the no logos on tshirts and no sagging pants specified lenghts in shorts and skirts and shirts. Everything else is just ridiculous! And I would not pay for private education that took away that much self expression either!

Julia

January 13th, 2010
11:23 am

Nikki dont forget drinking and driving while using crack or smoking pot..

fer

January 13th, 2010
11:32 am

No, no, and NO!!! Not the length, not the style, not the color!

And let me just add that I am a retired teacher who never understood why some teachers and administrators got their panties in such a wad about students’ hair!

Michelle

January 13th, 2010
11:33 am

Well, I personally don’t care what his hair length is! I agree with a majority of the posters, if there is a rule, it should be followed. If the school was willing to negotiate (i.e. allow him to wear his hair pulled back), my question would be this…Do the girls with long hair have to do the same? If so, then ABSOLUTELY he should too!

I also doubt that he knows what Locks for Love is all about. I think he probably likes his long hair. When my son was 4, he LOVED his short hair! If it even touched his ears he was asking to get it cut! So, I do believe kids at that age have some of their own identities and fashion sense (oh…and he knew what clothes he liked too.)

As a parent though, it is up to us to decide if it is appropriate. Yes, he may want a particular style of hair or clothing, BUT if it is not right, too bad, the decision is no longer his. We can negotiate if there is room for that.

I do think the parents are looking for a little bit of the limelight. I wonder how much extra business the father is getting with all of the hoopla surrounding his son?

Hey Sug

January 13th, 2010
11:34 am

That retarded comment was rude not to mention Julia drinking during her pregnancy that was a low blow. You should be ashamed of your self for even acting like you agree with that.

Terri

January 13th, 2010
11:46 am

Check out this company. They have a wealth of information and DVD’s on how to do different techniques on hair. http://www.braidsbybreslin.com

JMP

January 13th, 2010
11:46 am

Mom2boys, you are on point. This 4 y.old does not know about Locks of Love and his parents are justing fishing for something to make their argument–but what they are showing their child is the most disturbing message of all–and that is that rules don’t apply, keep that up and they will be visiting him at a prison shortly.

Stephanie

January 13th, 2010
11:48 am

just curious.. but how does what his parents look like have anything to do with this? jeez. so judgemental. (not you, theresa)

Lurking&Smirking

January 13th, 2010
11:51 am

The parents just want some air time. They think that a reality TV show will spring up from this. Attention whores….nothing more. And now this kid will grow up with an unfettered sense of entitlement. Great.

Nikki

January 13th, 2010
11:53 am

People, people, people…it’s not about the hair. “individuality, personality, my child likes this, bla bla bla bla”—no one cares but you cares!
If there wasn’t a rule that his parents agreed to upon registering and walking into the school on his first day—none of this would be an issue!

yall are crazy

January 13th, 2010
12:03 pm

Oh yeah, God forbid the schools allow the students any type of individuality whatsoever. Wouldn’t want kids to make their own decisions. If these barbaric schools continue to regulate every aspect of the students’ lives, and tell them to do EVERYTHING their way, how do you expect them to become intelligent, responsible adults capable of making their own decisions? What these schools really want is to strip kids of their individuality and independence so that they will bend over and become another blind, groping, conformist member of the American consumer culture.

DB

January 13th, 2010
12:03 pm

What I dislike about this whole thing is the concept of the parents using their child as a platform for their own civil disobedience. There is no way that a 4 year old boy dreamed up the idea of donating his hair to Locks of Love on his own, and the whole thing smacks of manipulation. And the mom saying that she can’t braid his hair becuase it will cause his scalp to bleed? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard — if his scalp is THAT delicate, then he should be wearing his hair as short as possible!

Having said that, I’m a little surprised that A PUBLIC SCHOOL would have such strict rules regarding hair for males — it seems like it’s leaving itself wide open to gender discrimination charges. My kids attended a private school from K-12, and its dress code was considered draconian — very limited uniform choices, and strict grooming guidelines. If a guy showed up at school with hair too long, he was sent home with an unexcused absence until it was fixed. However, it was a private school, and we knew what we were agreeing to when we signed the contract, so no complaints, here. (It sure did make getting dressed in the morning simple!)

Personally, I prefer shorter hair on guys, but that’s just me. I think the school can definitely require hair to be contained for safety reasons (during sports or other activities such as science experiments, where hair can get in the way), but as far as dictating the length — unless they are making the same rules for both boys and girls, then it seems like they are just asking for it. Let’s face it — the length of the hair isn’t really that distracting to anyone else, because other kids learn to ignore it, or just shrug and say, “Oh, that’s just so-and-so’s thing.” If I were the schoool, I’d be picking my battles — and this wouldn’t be one of them.

However, it IS currently a rule, and the parents need to set a more responsible example of how to deal with this sort of thing — which is working to get the rule changed, not breaking it just because you don’t “feel” like it. Teaching a child how to work a system is far more useful than teaching them to run headlong into brick walls. My kids have seen me take on several issues that I felt strongly about — some I was able to change, and others, I wasn’t and had to accept defeat graciously. It’s part of teaching kids how to be responsible adults: How to work with other people.

Hey Sug

January 13th, 2010
12:06 pm

DB there was a little boy that was suspended over a mohawk and then there was that boy here in Ga that dressed like a girl to school. Its just disruptive.. Again kids are mean and cruel to each other and if the kid gets picked on for their dress.. then the school is liable for bullying.

me

January 13th, 2010
12:10 pm

If he wants to keep it long – then put it in a ponytail (alot of Indian families don’t cut their boys hair til he is what about 5 or 6?) until then they wear it pulled up…..

I havent seen any mention of dreadlocks & braids on boys which we see quite a bit of. I have not seen them in ponytails – just loose braids.

Be careful they could turn this into something of a gender issue as well – if the girls can wear their hair long then why can’t the boys?

Kelly

January 13th, 2010
12:19 pm

If the school regulates what length a male student’s hair is, then they should for the girls. You can’t pick on one without the other. And I am a female with 3 daughters. The school should do like restaurants do regarding ear piercings. Limit the ear rings to one in each ear for both sexes.

Hey Sug

January 13th, 2010
12:25 pm

Kelly what if your girls wanted double piercings and they wear small tasteful ear rings?? I also have a small tattoo on my ankle. Its not disruptive or distasteful.

Julia

January 13th, 2010
12:25 pm

My computer is possessed or its just that page

fer

January 13th, 2010
12:31 pm

There is no reason that a 4-year-old couldn’t know about Locks of Love. He could have had a relative or friend who had cancer and lost his/her hair.

Anyway, whatever the reason, schools have NO business deciding how students should wear their hair!

Denise

January 13th, 2010
12:32 pm

I think these folks need to find something better to do than worry about the length of a child’s hair. I’m not saying that he should be allowed to break the rule just because he doesn’t like it; I’m saying that there should not be a rule. If it is a rule, then girls need to keep their hair short. Folks would be up in arms about that, right, because girls are pretty with long hair. As long as a child is not disruptive, pays attention, and does well in school he or she should be allowed to be in class with everyone else. I don’t think having a ponytail is being disruptive.

Someone brought up dreads and corn rows. You better believe that if someone said “no dreads” or “no corn rows” in a public school that folks would really be up in arms. I have friends whose children have dreads and if they all of a sudden couldn’t have them the would have to cut the little girls BALD. That’s BS and the school board should not have the power to decide how someone looks. Yes, they should monitor the dress code, esp. sagging pants and short shirts and short skirts and wife beaters…. That’s about how someone dresses. That is not about how someone looks.

I guess the next scenario will be when little Becky gets pulled into the principal’s office for wearing lip gloss “too young”…as deemed by “authority figures”.

Jane

January 13th, 2010
12:37 pm

Kelly – what are you talking about?

I’ve never been in a restaurant where they wouldn’t serve me because they didn’t like my 2 earings in one ear.

Liz

January 13th, 2010
12:39 pm

Denise – if you’ve got a little girl wearing lip gloss when she’s just a child, maybe she AND YOU should be taken to task for it!

DB

January 13th, 2010
12:52 pm

@Jane: I believe Kelly is referring to the restaurant employees not being allowed to wear more than one earring per ear.

@hey sug: I didn’t make myself clear — the HAIR is not something that I think should be severely regulated, beyond the necessities of safety and cleanliness (i.e., lice!) Clothing, yes, I tend to agree that it shouldn’t be spectacular or deliberately provocotive (either sexually or culturally, i.e., obviously girl clothing on boys). But then, you get into kilts — and I’m a sucker for a man in kilts! . . . :-D

Rally One

January 13th, 2010
12:59 pm

Jane, I think Kelly meant the employees at restaurants

rebecca

January 13th, 2010
1:08 pm

there shouldn’t be a problem with his hair

secret tt

January 13th, 2010
1:11 pm

his hair is as ugly as a peace of ya yas

IM

January 13th, 2010
1:17 pm

If the length of hair defines the personality, well…. congratulations – you have been totally brainwashed.

Becky

January 13th, 2010
1:30 pm

@Liz, what is wrong with a little girl wearing lip gloss? You do know that you can get it with just about no color in it and it’s basically the same as chap stick? My little one is 7 and she has been wearing lip gloss since she was about 3-4..

Like someone else said, I don’t really care for long hair on a boy, but if the parents want him to have it, more power to them..My little one is 7 and he always says that he wants his hair cut like a mans (short)..

I saw the picture of the Dad, not sure what is so ugh about that either..He looks like a normal person to me..

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 13th, 2010
1:40 pm

I don’t have a problem with dress codes as long as there are logical, objective reasons behind them.

“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”

This reason is BUNK. Has anyone seen a picture of a little known guy named EINSTEIN. Some people discounted his intelligence and ability in University because he was “that guy that didn’t comb his hair and seemed disheveled”….then he came up with the Theory of Relativity and went on to win a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.

So if I were Texas, I would come up with better logic than people who groom themselves outside the norm are destined to be unproductive members of society. If that is the best they can do, then they should just concentrate on the behavior of the kid…if he’s a good kid and well behaved, judge him by that. If other kids tease him in class, discipline those kids…they’re the ones with the problem.

Stephanie

January 13th, 2010
1:55 pm

OMG, this is ridiculous! Males can have long hair now if they want and females can wear pants! Update the stupid dress codes. Unless it affects someone’s health or something really important, who cares? Typical of Texas though. They want to regulate people’s sexuality, hairstyles, clothing and religion, but don’t believe in regulation of businesses . . . ?!?!? People should have the right to raise their children how they believe (within reason). If it’s legal to teach your children that God hates gay people then it should absolutely be ok to send your little boy to school with longer hair. I figured his hair was down to his rear end or something but it’s not even that long anyway. I find it just ridiculous that this is even an issue.

Jody Maley

January 13th, 2010
1:57 pm

As a mom of six (4boys and 2girls) I think that its ridiculous that the school is enforcing this.
My dad is a ‘retired teacher’, I went to a strict private school (someone had mentioned this above) & we had a dress code…of course…we also knew before-hand what the school’s dress code rules were.

It seems the young boy is doing this not just for a ‘fashion statement’ but for a good need as well…I would be proud of my kids wanting to grow out there hair to give to ‘cancer patients’.
Kudos to the young man…who at the age of four…stands up for his own morals and wants to do good in the world!

oneofeach4me

January 13th, 2010
1:59 pm

Yay Tiger!! I finally have some back up in here! lol

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 13th, 2010
2:07 pm

@1ofeach4me…glad I can help.

Again though..I think there are some very good reasons for a dress code. I wish my kid’s school would implement a uniform policy. I would like to see that applied to the teachers as well. I would like for every kid to be in an environment where they didn’t see who had more money, a more comfortable life. I would like for the affluent kids to not be able to go to school with $200 jeans and contribute to this MTV My Supersweet 16 mentality. I would like every kid to know that for the 8 hours a day that they attended school, in this small way, they would all be equals. I would like to know that if a kid or adult was not in a uniform that a very big red flag would be raised to actually ask that person what their intention was at the school. (I live in CO…Columbine still reverberates here.)

Those, INHO, are all very legitimate reasons to have a dress code. But to say if you dress funny you won’t become a productive member of society is like saying no one can wear yellow because the principal slipped on a banana peel and broke her/his leg. It makes no sense.

Becky

January 13th, 2010
2:09 pm

@Tiger, I agree with you on that..The guy that owns the company that I work for is 75, wears his hair in a ponytail and up until about 5-6 years ago, rode a Harley to work every day..The way that a person looks
doesn’t make them useless to society..

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 13th, 2010
2:14 pm

I’ve posted story from our front page that give bunches of links to relief organizations that will be helping the poor Haitian people recover from this terrible earthquake. They estimate up to 500,000 people may be dead. If you want to help these links will make it easy. Please check it out.

http://blogs.ajc.com/momania/2010/01/13/how-families-can-help-haitian-quake-victims/

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 13th, 2010
2:19 pm

awwww becky..you’re just supporting me because you want me to cook you dinner!

oneofeach4me

January 13th, 2010
2:28 pm

@Tiger, that was the point I was trying to make earlier. I too would love to see my child’s school revert to uniforms. I just think that regulating hair length is taking it a wee bit too far.

Becky

January 13th, 2010
2:29 pm

Tiger, that would be nice, BUT I love to cook, so I might cook for you..
I’m just like others, the school should pick another battle..Long hair isn’t a major issue..

Trust me Tiger...

January 13th, 2010
2:42 pm

…Becky may be a cougar, but you ain’t no cub – so, she is just too old for you!

Jane

January 13th, 2010
2:46 pm

Hey, whether you agree or disagree with the dress code – it’s in place and it’s the rules. They should be followed.

Those that don’t like it should go to the school board and try to have it changed. BUT, in the meantime, you should abide by it as it’s the RULE.

Teach your kids to break any rule they don’t like and mayhem follows.

kharma strong

January 13th, 2010
2:52 pm

email the Mesquite Independent School District directly, please go to: http://www.mesquiteisd.org/emailus.asp

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 13th, 2010
2:52 pm

@Jane….glad you weren’t an advisor for Rosa Parks.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 13th, 2010
3:01 pm

….or the founding fathers……

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 13th, 2010
3:05 pm

……or Susan B Anthony who was charged, and tried, by the United States government for voting in the 1872 presidential election..one of the earliest figures in the women’s suffrage movement…..

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 13th, 2010
3:08 pm

…..or Jesus…..

Becky

January 13th, 2010
3:09 pm

@Trust me Tiger, I’m not a cougar, nor was that in any way a come on to Tiger..He seems to be a very happily married man as I am a very happily married woman..Besides that I have no intentions of (unlike a coworker of mine) to travel halfway across the US to “hook” up with a married man..lol..

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 13th, 2010
3:11 pm

Or John Scopes……you may have to google this one….

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 13th, 2010
3:13 pm

Or Galileo…who went against church rules by stating the sun was actually the center of the solar system and was accused of blasphemy…

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 13th, 2010
3:14 pm

Imagine how great the world would have been if all those folks had just followed the rules instead of trying to talk to the establishment in an effort to change the rules……I’m imagining it now…and it’s filled with tyranny and oppression.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 13th, 2010
3:18 pm

or Nelson Mandela……I’m trying to stop….really! I just keep coming up with these great rule breakers in history!!!

SRH

January 13th, 2010
3:42 pm

What makes people think that they are not married?? Just because they don’t share a last name doesn’t mean anything. Also, the video is here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHZip9N76Bw&NR=1

oneofeach4me

January 13th, 2010
3:49 pm

Outstanding examples Tiger!

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 13th, 2010
3:54 pm

@1ofE….well thankya….thankyaverymuch…..OHHH..that reminds me…ELVIS…great rule breaker on whatever that show was that he was told to not shake his hips!

MS

January 13th, 2010
4:39 pm

Okay, I went to school in Texas and graduated in the early 70’s. The same rule was in effect then. The way it was gotten around was the boys with longer hair would buy obnoxious, cheap, short wigs and wear them. No problem, apparently the school board considered them way less distracting. And technically they were following the dress code. Perhaps that is what these parents should do. Texas really needs to move into the current century.

Gov is Bigger in Texas

January 13th, 2010
5:48 pm

The school board in Mesquite, Texas is a dictatorship, demanding that a kid cut his hair short and deny him the right to express himself. Another male student was also suspended from this school for wearing tight jeans, again being denied the right to express himself. I wonder if they make female students cut their hair or regulate how tight their pants can be? Somehow I doubt it, and that is discrimination against male students if female students are not made to follow the same rule. However, it is interesting to see all these anti-government conservatives defending the school district and their stupid rules. Little do they know that a public school is a government entity, and this is government interfering in the daily life of this kid by personally telling him he will not get educated if he looks a certain way, and will be isolated from his friends for his appearance. The conservatives complain about government interference in their daily lives, so why are most not complaining about this, as this is government dictating what this kid can do, and dictating to the parents what they must do as well. This is the land of the free, and freedom of expression is one of our rights. A publicly funded entity cannot dictate to a kid how long their hair is or how tight their pants can be, that is why we have private entities that we allow to set rules such as this. It is called freedom, and anyone on the right should be outraged that this publicly funded school is telling this kid what to do. In some parts of the Middle East they force women to wear burqas and cover their faces. We are fighting a war against people with these ideal. What this school is doing to this poor boy is along those same lines as what those Middle Eastern governments are doing to women, as in both cases they are demanding that they look a certain way they see fit or suffer the consequences. Let the boy wear his hair long and mind your own business, Mesquite school board. This is America, not the Middle East!

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 13th, 2010
6:15 pm

@ GOV is bigger in texas…not that I entirely disagree with your rant, but I think you’re a little off base on some things. Publicly funded entities can indeed dictate to people what their appearance will be. The military is one of them. Entirely funded through taxpayer dollars and can tell the members when to eat, when to sleep, what to wear, and what to do. Now before you make the case that it is an all volunteer force and people elect to abide by those rules, you can go back to the days of the draft, where people were forced to enter the military. The draft didn’t end because it was illegal…the draft ended because it was unpopular. Police and Fire Departments are other examples. So that blanket statement may have taken you a little over on the “rant” side of your point.

Warrior Woman

January 13th, 2010
6:27 pm

Schools shouldn’t be in the business of regulating hair or dress beyond issues of safety and classroom disruption. However, there are constructive and destructive ways to push for change, and agreeing to a school’s dress code, as parents typically have to do at the beginning of the school year, then complaining about it doesn’t seem particularly constructive.

Gary klahr

January 13th, 2010
7:23 pm

I aM shocked BY THE conformist attitudes here. You can NOT judge a book by its cover. Unifoirms are un-american. long hair is a matter of PERSONAL choice—not subject to gov’t RULES!!!! Hasn’t anyone thought that bad nutrition is FAR more important on how a kid does at school—so why don’t a;ll you pro-rule people insist that parents srrve a gov’t-approved breakfast before school???????????????????? we have TOO MANY CONFORMISTs—not too few. The best & the brightest are like these kids—they ewnd up at APPLE & INTEL—not in jail.
I’m sure it will surprise most of you to know that MOST of the kids fifghting uiniforms and long-hair bans are honor roll students; they obey REAsonable RULES; IUF WE OBEYED THE “rULES” IN THIS COUNTRY, OUR “PRESIDENT” WOULD BE qUEEN eLIZABETH—really—REMEMBER THE dECLARATION OF iNDEPENDENCE.
Tx IS A STRANGE STATE—FOR YEARS THEY TORTURE LONG HAIRED KIDS (NOT JUST this ONE) AND EXPEL KIDS FOR WEARING TEE SHIRTS & JEANS MADE OF tx COTTON INSTEad of polyester uniforms–yet they want TO SECEDE FROM THE UNION AND NOT PAY TAXES OR HAVE FEDERAL HEAlth care. Anyone see some HYPOCRISY here????????????????????/

Gary klahr

January 13th, 2010
7:39 pm

And there is NO evidence that the parents AGREED to the hair rules when they enrolled the kid. schools TELL—not ask–prents what the rules are. You pro-rule people are SOOOO hypocritical; most of you are “tea party” rypes in your OTHER LIFE, I bet!!!!!

IM

January 13th, 2010
8:09 pm

Gary klahr – parents agreed to the rules when they enrolled kid into school. I honestly think parents is the problem here as they teach a kid to go against the rules and not work to change the rules. Kid can get a 1 in hair trim and then campaign against the rule, get followers and then change it.

I agree that dress code needs to be updated, but these rules were followed by so many students before this kid and there is no reason for this kid not to follow them. A rule is a rule and a law is a law. You can argue that speeding limit should be increased since we have more advanced cars right now, but if you speed, you still get a ticket (or arrested for that matter) for one simple reason – this is the current law.

Honestly, i would be concerned about this kid’s vision – looking at this picture i do not know how he can see anything.

Gary klahr

January 13th, 2010
8:40 pm

WrONG WRONG—the parents NEVER agreed to these rules; this isauthoritarian dictatorship; it is none of the school’s business unless they can show actual distraction of other kids—-very v e r y unlikely among 4 yr olds. you-all are too stupid to be allowed to vote.
LET TX SECEDE IF IT WANTS; WE ALL WILL BE BETTER OFF–NOW THAT THEIR OIL HAS RUN OUT MOSTLY

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androgyny rocks

January 14th, 2010
3:46 am

The main issue is separate dress code rules for boys and girls. Any hair requirements should be unisex.

Why this fixation on the gender binary? Anyone who says he “looks like a girl” are showing their own fixation on the stereotype that long hair = female. Sheesh, I thought we got over this silly issue of long hair in the 1970s. Remember Ray Stevens? “We shouldn’t care about the length of his hair, or the color of his skin, don’t worry about what shows from without, but the love that lives within.” (from memory, may not be word for word exact)

The parents should file a sex discrimination lawsuit. This is a public school, funded with tax dollars, right? If so, the should should not discriminate based on sex or gender.

FCM

January 14th, 2010
6:42 am

@ Tiger — Ed Sullivan Show. (And I don’t think either of us is old enough to have been there).

@ GOV — MOST of the posters have not just said “shut up and conform”. They have said there are better ways to try and challenge the rule and have it changed.

FCM

January 14th, 2010
6:53 am

@ Tiger your examples of rule breakers (who probably are held in esteem in history because they succeed in changing the rules–I doubt we would remember them fondly if they hadn’t) are all ADULTS.

We are talking about a kid. A kid does need to learn to follow the rules. Especially a 4 yo.

Would you want your son trying civil disobedience to his Kindergarten teacher because the directions say cut out the circle and he chose to not to do the assignment? Or they were told to sit in a circle and he chose to stand by the door? It is very similar in the types of adult protests you mention.

motherjanegoose

January 14th, 2010
7:30 am

Um….I did just sign a form and agreed to these rules for my child, who is senior in a public high school:

she will have a 1 inch binder to take to class and keep her notes in said binder
she will not sleep in class
she will not eat in class
she will not use her cell phone or have it visible in class

among other things…..

@ Gary …what is up with your caps lock? Have you ever lived in Texas? We lived there for 8 years before moving to Ga 20 years ago. Texas folks are great people and I love working with them! They do not only give us oil…we eat quite a bit of their produce/beef too!

IM

January 14th, 2010
9:36 am

Did you see the interview? Kid was sitting/standing on a table. Of course parents raise child as they wish, but i think they better get a grip before it is too late.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 14th, 2010
10:50 am

@FCM — you completely missed the point of what I was trying to say. My point was that rules are fine, when the rules are created from sensible and well thought out reasons. The reasons presented by the school board were neither sensible nor well thought out. My examples were adults, and I’ll give you that is a significant difference, but when you take into consideration that what they spoke out against were rules that were founded on ignorance, I think that ties in my point.

Denise

January 14th, 2010
11:19 am

Liz, nope I’m not getting taken to task for any of that. Number 1 – I don’t have children and Number 2 – I think it is totally ridiculous for children to wear makeup. We had a discussion last year on Fancy Nancy and some people were stating that their kids, nieces, cousins, etc. were wearing make up in the 4th grade and even younger. One lady said that she put “little girl pink” lipstick on her 5 year old. So, nope I’m not taking that charge.

FCM

January 14th, 2010
12:05 pm

@ Tiger…yes they both have rules that are found in ignorence. However teaching the kid at this age to do this is confusing. The child has no way to get what rules are truly stupid and which are not. The parents voiced their opinion to the school and the school made arrangements to accomodate the kid. That is a reasonable solution in that they did not force the parent to cut the kids hair. The fact the kid is getting private 1:1 education on a tax dollar is a different subject.

I could careless how long the hair is of the kids in my children’s classes. I don’t care if they wear crocs/flip flops or even if Susie’s mom lets her wear full on make up to 1st grade. It is a parent’s job to parent. However all of the things I just mentioned are governed by my County School Board and the Handbook comes home every year with a notice I have to sign stating that I have a copy and understand that I am responsible for enforcing these things with my kid. I read the dress code every year and then keep it in a drawer until school is out. It is refrence material if I am unsure about anything.

You might find this obnoxious or find it humorous or stupid: My eldest was in daycare and her birthday came up — she was to be 2. She was very excited about getting cupcakes with pink and purple frosting. The Director overheard and said we don’t allow cupcakes because of the mess. That is when I said to her “Well like I tell my children some rules are stupid but they have to be followed.” I got a pack of cookies from the bakery and put icing in between them making cookie sandwiches of them. The daycare never said a word. My husband laughed like mad (and he was the more rebellious of us) and said something like “Are you just being contrary or are you really wanting to fight this?” I just smiled and said “Maybe. Mostly I see it as an act of Civil Disobedience against a rule that sucks for kids.”

By the way, the daycare changed the rule.

Becky

January 14th, 2010
3:25 pm

Everyone keeps harping on the kid sitting on the table, did no one stop to think that the photographer had him sit that way for a better shot? Happens a lot with photos..

FCM

January 14th, 2010
9:53 pm

I don’t get why it matters if he does sit on the table…Jumping on furniture is one thing but sitting? If food were on it I get it. Standing on it I could understandt he concern. Sitting on it is no biggie.

We used to sit on the kitchen counters and talk to my Mom while she made dinner. As long as we didn’t sit near the food. The kitchen did not have a breakfast bar or eat in area. So we could stand the whole time or sit on a counter. If we put a chair in the room she said we were in her space.

I have sat on mine here at home. Course mine is nothing expensive or antique. I would understand if that were the case.

I FINALLY bought myself furniture (nice stuff) this year for my living room and I am real particular about it.

julio luis

January 15th, 2010
8:14 am

Crew Cut hair should be worn by ALL Males until they are 18, and out of the house !

Dress Code Receiving National Attention

January 15th, 2010
8:48 am

[...] you can see how occasional compromises can be healthy and needed. In one Texas town recently, the school dress code is receiving national attention, and a lack of accepting any compromise has landed one little boy in [...]

newblogger

January 16th, 2010
11:47 am

From one teacher’s point of view….if you make it a big deal then it is a big deal. I have taught many kids who looked a little strange on the outside (long hair, piercings, strange clothes combinations) but were really good kids. I’ve also taught the kids who were exceptional on the outside (clean cut, great clothes, etc.) and were horrible children. Judging a book by its cover, are we? My son went through his long hair, grungy clothes days and now he is a United States Marine-great kid, great morals, driven…go figure. I know that rules are rules and if it is one, his parents should follow it. My point is that the rule itself is outdated and a little superficial. I think rules about dress codes should be in place for safety, hygiene and true disruptions (like cell phones ringing). Where I teach we have different rules for our 5th graders than our K-2 students because their bodies are different. That’s in place to keep them from indecent exposure. The hair length rule is just silly to me.

[...] Should hair length be regulated by school dress codes? [...]

JustMom

January 19th, 2010
1:37 am

He is too cute. Sad that this is even a story – it’s hair so I don’t see the big deal.
@Liz what a judgemental person you are. His dad being a tattoo artist has nothing to do with the issue. Jesus I am going to pray for you.

ron deyoung

January 21st, 2010
4:25 pm

RULES are for a CIVILIZED society. Cut the damn kids hair and stop all the whining.

tom

July 5th, 2010
11:25 pm

last time I checked we still live in the United States and we are still a free country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 If the kid wants to have long hair and his parents support him THEN IT IS NO ONE ELSES DAMM BUSINESSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ESPECIALLY NOT THE GOVERNMENT!!! I would let my kids hair grow to the ground just to bug them!!

amanda

July 7th, 2010
7:31 pm

the kid’s hair has no affect whatsoever on his or anyone else’s education. so leave him alone and let his hair be. now if was bright pink or something, i could see how that would be distracting, but it’s not.