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I was just reading about a school in Ohio that tried to mandate how children’s hair should be when coming to school, and stated that they could not have “afro-puffs and small twisted braids, with or without rubber bands”. That shocked me, because it’s clearly racist. If you’re African American, some styles are all you can do to keep your hair manageable without using chemicals or damaging heat treatments.
It reminds me of an older story of a school that suspended a Native American boy for having long hair, as was his people’s tradition. That school insisted that all boys have hair cut above the shirt collar. In another school an Indian girl was suspended for wearing a nose piercing, which is a right of passage for her people when a girl turns 16.
I’ve also heard of schools forcing girls to wear skirts, even though some religions forbid girls from showing their legs. In Georgia a boy was removed from school for not dressing “masculine enough”. Some schools don’t allow children to wear a top and bottom of the same color, claiming it’s gang activity. Some schools won’t allow rainbows or rainbow patterns on clothing as it supposedly implies gay support. When I was in school, a teacher failed me for not cutting off my fingernails for typing class.
I can understand having dress codes to prevent kids coming to school looking like porn stars, gang members, or just filthy, but there’s a limit. I can even agree with uniforms, although I think girls should have the option of long skirts or pants in addition to the knee-length skirts, and all clothing should be allowed to be worn by either gender child.
What I don’t agree with is trying to regulate student’s bodies. I thought it was awful to be failed from typing class because i refused to cut off part of my body. I don’t agree with schools regulating the length of a boy’s hair but not a girl’s, and having gender-biased rules. I don’t believe schools should have any rules that impede the child’s ethnic expression, like the nose piercing.
It’s important to keep kids focused and appropriate, but some of these schools are going too far. If they think student appearance is such an issue, then there should be a national standard. Make all kids look the same during school hours. but even then, there would be issues because of ethnicity and religion. Really I think schools just need to pay more attention to teaching the kids and less on how they dress.