I have heard many stories like this over the years: public schools that mistakenly believe they have a right to dictate every aspect of a child’s life, including things that have absolutely nothing to do with the child’s education and which do nothing to harm or offend other students. Case in point: A 12 year old boy at Itasca Middle School has been given an in-school suspension for an unspecified amount of time (possibly all year) because he has long hair. Though the news report on this incident does not specify which Itasca in which state this happened in, I believe it was probably Itasca, TX in Hill County, not too far from Dallas. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me.
Texas schools are especially fond of dictating how long a boy’s hair is allowed to be. When my brother was in high school for a year in southeast Texas, he was told on many occasions that he needed to cut his hair because it was too long for the school’s dress code – and his hair was only a bit on the shaggy side, it was still quite obviously a boy’s haircut. Apparently, the only haircut Texas public schools deem acceptable for a boy is a military buzz cut.
But to return to the case of the Itasca school suspension: the mother has protested and has even started a petition, but the school says they will not budge. If I was the mother I would immediately pull my son out of that insane school and do my best to find a school that isn’t so fascist, and sexist. Of course, if I’m right and this is the Itasca in Texas, she might have a very hard time finding such a school without moving out of state. But I hope she can do something to protect her son from this. Because it IS fascist and IS sexist. It is an extremely out-dated, un-educated, un-evolved, and sexist attitude to insist that only girls are allowed to have long hair. Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of guys with long hair. I generally don’t find it aesthetically-attractive and there a very few men, in my opinion, who can pull it off. But what a person, even the principal or superintendent of a school considers to be attractive is not the point. This boy keeps his hair clean and combed and out of his face; it is not offensive, or distracting, and it does not in any way influence his or any fellow students’ academic progress. Therefore, the only reason the school has any stake in the matter is that it is trying to impose its conservative and sexist stereotypes of appearance and gender roles on its students, without any regard to privacy or rights of those students. And its WRONG. Period.
See link for the news video below: