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What's the Big Hairy Deal, Anyway?

Updated on January 21, 2010

Stop the Hair Length Insanity!

I remember being like, 8 years old or so. We lived in Illinois and went to public school. My older brother was about 11 years old. The school principal came up to him one day and told him that he needed to cut his hair, it was too long. It was not particularly long but in 1970 the moral obligation of educators and the onset of the "Hippie" generation caused a little bit of extreme rule making, including hair lengths on boys. For some reason there was a consensus that a boy with long hair would cause trouble. The principal did not consider specific items, though, like there was no dress code allowed in Illinois, and there was definitely not a hair code for boys. The school boards believed that parents were capable of dressing their children in decent ways, especially in elementary schools. The principal also did not take into consideration that my brother was a good student, coming home with A's in mostly everything. I'm not sure he was a strong speller, but he was a determined student.

Fast forward to my son. He was in second grade. He had that silly mullet that was popular in the 1990's. His hair was very cute, curly, clean, and well groomed. He was told he could not go back to school in Baytown, Texas, if he did not cut off his hair. I let him have hair, what was the big deal, after all? Hair does not make the person unless you're Farrah Faucett. I was adamant and quite angry that they would write me a letter telling me that he was a discipline problem and a bad distraction because he had longer hair. Again, it was not that long, it just went to the bottom of his collar and was short on top. Unfortunately Texas is not as forward thinking as Illinois 20 something years previously, and I cut off his curls ultimately. I objected, asking how they could tell me that my quiet, unassuming son who was on the honor roll since the moment he stepped into Pre-Kindergarten could be a discipline problem just because he had hair. Girls have hair. All three of my girls had waist long hair, they were not a discipline problem. I had long hair, practically to my waist, and I had a degree in computer systems and was gainfully employed with no issue or complaint as to my hair. At this same time in recent History twin boys were not allowed to go to school because of--you guessed it--long hair. They were good looking boys, talented on guitar and singing, they were articulate and respectful. They also maintained a 4.0 gpa in homeschool situation where a local Jr. College administered their testing. What a crime it is to have long hair and be a boy.

Today I heard a news report. It is 2010 and a little 4 year old boy was kicked out of Pre-Kindergarten for hair. Again, his hair was not terribly long. He has pretty, thick, and wavy hair, and it barely touches the top of the collar of his shirt. He is a baby for all practical purposes yet the school kicked him out for hair. His mother compromised and braids this boy's hair to go to school and the principal accepted the change.

When are school administrators and the general population going to come to the realization that hair is not the exclusive right of girls and women? Why are boys being persecuted for nothing more than the length of their trusses? Why is it that this kind of archaic thinking is allowed in our schools with no recourse by parents? When will this madness end????

I know that in the bigger picture long hair on a boy is a very small issue, however it is a violation of the child's rights to personal choice if they are forced to cut their hair for these ancient and out-dated concepts that boys with long hair are a discipline problem. I have just given three examples of very good, extremely intelligent students being kicked out of school or threatened due to the length of their hair. It seems to me that our own religious and moral icon, Jesus Christ, had extremely long hair. The judges in England actually put on wigs of long hair. America's founding fathers wore their hair long enough to pull back in pony tails.  When someone's personal pre-conceived notions interfere with another person's personal rights then the notion needs to be thrown away for the liberty of the person who is choosing to grow their hair.

I guess that this battle will not be won, but I think this is a rip that needs its stitch (a stitch in time) before it becomes a bigger and more ridiculous issue, with protesters in the streets, and loud meetings with school boards and PTA's. This one single rule is offensive and intrusive and should be abolished. Aren't there enough rights being taken away from us? Why can't we allow our male children the right to choose the length of their own hair? What's the big deal, anyway?


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