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AlterNet: 4-Year-Old Boy Suspended From School for Months Because His Hair Is 'Too Long'

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:23 PM
Original message
AlterNet: 4-Year-Old Boy Suspended From School for Months Because His Hair Is 'Too Long'




4-Year-Old Boy Suspended From School for Months Because His Hair Is 'Too Long'

Posted by Tara Lohan, AlterNet at 1:15 PM on January 12, 2010.

So what's this really about? Messed up cultural norms.




First the facts. This kid is 4-years old. Four! He's in pre-kindergarten. His name is Taylor Pugh but he prefers the nickname Tater Tot. Do you not love him already?! All he wants to do is go back to the classroom and be with his friends. But he has been suspended since November because his hair is considered too long by his public school (which is Floyd Elementary School in suburban Dallas). His hair, by the way, barely touches his shoulders. From what I can tell, it's also clean and brushed.

So what's the problem? Apparently his hair violates school district dress code. Why on earth a 4-year-old has a dress code, I don't know. I would think if youre dealing with a bunch of kids that young, youd pretty much just hope they show up with their shoes still on. But on further review, the school district seems to have lots of ridiculous dress restrictions. And there are some that just drive me nuts. For instance, girls can have piercings, boys cannot. Girls can have long hair, boys cannot.

So what's this really about? Messed up cultural norms that put boys in one box and girls in the other and don't allow any kind of freedom of expression. What do the people of Texas think will go wrong if a boy has long hair? Does it have anything to do with *gasp* gender identity? Will it get in the way of that algebra they're surely teaching 4-year-olds? I'm guessing the only thing that really interferes with education is not letting a kid go to class.

The whole thing is infuriating. I'm glad Tater Tot's parents haven't caved to the school board's pressure. Actually, his dad is a tattoo artist, so maybe he knows a thing or two about wanting to express yourself with your appearance -- maybe he also knows a bit about uptight folks judging a book by its cover. Here's his dad, who is clearly rad, too:

"Nobody wants to meet in the middle. It's all or nothing," Pugh said. "He's my son. I love him. I will back him to the end."


OK, one more reason to love Tater Tot -- according to the AP, "Taylor's parents say he plans to eventually cut his hair and donate it to a charity that makes wigs for cancer patients." Yeah, sounds like a great reason to suspend a 4-year-old. ..........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/145111/4-year-old_bo... /




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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. Why is a 4 yo boy even IN school in the first place?
:crazy:
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I was in pre-K when I was 4......
nt
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. I'm an old fogey (43) who only attended kindergarten. no pre K in my day.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. I'm 47
I didn't even attend kindergarten!
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #12
52. Me, too.
Hardly anybody did back then in the late fifties/early sixties; mothers stayed home as a rule.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 03:39 AM
Response to Reply #9
40. There was back in 58, called "nursery school", but was private pay
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NICO9000 Donating Member (574 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
22. What century is it again?
This is the kind of thing that would have happened when I was a kid in the 60s.
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. There's just never enough conformity for America's Nazis!
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Wind Dancer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. It sure seems that way!!
Yikes!
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Soylent Brice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #3
45. flawless summation.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. He is SOOOO adorable
I want him!
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democrank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. That`s one precious Tater Tot.
About his "long" hair, he ought to bring a picture of Jesus to his school.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
6. yikes. my boy had hair halfway down his back through the third grade
it never was even mentioned.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
7. Suburban Dallas is all I need to know.
If there is a more soulless, artificial place on earth, I have not seen it.

Shallow people who are mostly interested in money. Some kid who refuses (or whose parents refuse) to conform is in for hell. You could not pay me enough to live in suburban Dallas. I have been around Carrollton and Lewisville and it frankly sucks. Suburban hell.
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Artie Bucco Donating Member (174 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. To be honest
Edited on Tue Jan-12-10 05:35 PM by Artie Bucco
Mesquite is not that bad as opposed to Plano, Grapevine Mills or Keller.
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marshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #13
33. Actually Plano has a more progressive code than Dallas
They have one set of rules--the SAME rules apply to both boys and girls.

http://k-12.pisd.edu/schools/vines/admin/policies.htm#d...

The only reference to gender is "Men's jersey type shirts must be worn over a sleeved shirt." This refers to the clothing, not the wearer. Whether it's a boy or a girl wearing a men's jersey type shirt, it must be worn over a sleeved shirt.

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD is a tad less progressive:

http://www.gcisd-k12.org/1591101018182554723/lib/159110...

Boys are not allowed to wear dangling ear-rings--presumably they can wear studs while girls can wear either. Even the reference to bras doesn't specify gender.

Keller is again as progressive as Plano:

http://www.kellerisd.net/studentsandfamilies/know/Docum...

Seagoville/Dallas ISD stands out as extreme in its regressiveness. Their strict adherence to gender stereotypical norms is out of step with the times.



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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
34. Yep. This is about petty authority figures concerned with their right to set rules. It's very
identifiably the culture of the Big D metroplex
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
8. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
democrank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
10. I demand to know.....
Where is his brown uniform?
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
11. How can this even be legal?
Dumb.

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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
14. My grandfather, circa 1989, about my nephew: "How's he gonna get a JOB with that hair"?
My nephew was 3, at the time. :rofl:
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 03:23 AM
Response to Reply #14
39. My 70-year old grandfather told me I could never get a job with my hair.
13 years later he laughed at his prejudice, as I was making more than he ever had.

Sometimes it just takes time. :)
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arcadian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
15. Tater Tot's hair should be cut.
And then he needs to be sent off to a re-education camp.
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RedCappedBandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
16. It's his hair.
He should be allowed to let his hair grow to whatever damn length he pleases.

Conformist society, etc..
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
17. Wow- Texas, not Florida this time.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. I guessed correctly! How did I just know it would be Texas?
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Froward69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
20. GO Tater Tot!! >>>, My brother from another mother!!!
I grow my hair out too... For the SAME reason!!! Mine is just as long just now...

(However mine gets dirty with paint, car grease ETC... and I rarely wash it) ;)

Plus I am all Boy (man) dirty with "snakes, snails and puppy dog Tails".


Let Your Freak flag Fly
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GreenMetalFlake Donating Member (102 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
21. The shaved head is more representative of America - which is why long hair is still taboo
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. so glad to live where long hair on men isn't in the least taboo
and yes, I live in America.
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GreenMetalFlake Donating Member (102 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 05:47 AM
Response to Reply #25
42. yes-mine hangs down to my naval
;)
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #25
51. Very rarely has anyone said "boo" to me over mine. Except on the East Coast.
For some reason, every time I go to the East Coast, apparently it's sooooo weird to see a man(!!!!) with long hair(!!!!). Even in New York City, of all places. :eyes: I get the total stranger in the Hotel Lobby in Philly trying to ask me about buying weed. Yeah, dude. Obviously I have long hair so I must be here to sell a bag of pot. Never mind that I stopped smoking it not long after college.

And I always would get stopped for the "special, random" bag searches- again, only on the East Coast- and this was before 9-11, even. Hmmmm. Maybe if they had been on the lookout for box cutters as much as they apparently were for hippie-looking guys from California (I Bet there's WEED in his bag! Search him!!! :o) they might have saved some lives that day. Sigh.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
23. Nothing like public school administrators.
Edited on Tue Jan-12-10 05:52 PM by elleng
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demigoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
24. what??? they can't teach him to do a ponytail?? sounds like teachers who can't
teach again. A real teacher could handle it without all this mess.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. He doesn't have to wear it in a ponytail.
Besides, his hair isn't even that long enough for that.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 03:55 AM
Response to Reply #24
41. their code (or compromise) would allow braids but not a ponyboy tail
what really bugs me is that I heard they are demanding it 'above the ears' and my hair is longer than that now and I sorta just got it cut. It's like a code out of the 1950s where they think anything that is not a buzzcut is 'long'.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
27. WTF? This BS is still around?
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Jkid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
28. School's asking for a massive lawsuit
They got bigger problems to worry about, like actual teaching.
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HippieCowgirl Donating Member (242 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 06:09 PM
Response to Original message
29. Mom & Dad are not conformists
Lots of ink, stretched-lobe earrings, very long hair of their own.

The school district is after the kid because "those kind of people" don't belong in Mesquite & they're trying to punish the whole family for being different. If the parents had any money they'd be better off putting
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
30. Such ham-fisted stupidity from a school district is hardly surprising but wholly depressing.
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d_r Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
31. The public schools have a mandate to provide an education to every child.
I don't know how they can get away with some of this - it seems cruel to me to take a four year old and put them in isolation. The parents should be respected as the primary responsibility for the socialization of their children, not the school board.

"It has long been the philosophy of the Mesquite Independent School District that the public school system is responsible for the total development of each child enrolled within its schools.

This total development includes the training of students in social and moral standards, ethical conduct, good manners, and good grooming as well as the teaching of academic subjects.

With this philosophy in mind, the Board of Trustees has approved the following dress code. "


http://www.mesquiteisd.org/students/policies/standarddr...

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Liquorice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
32. The boy's hair is as long as his parents want it to be. And if they want
him to have long hair, I don't think the school should really have anything to say about it. I would never make my four year old child a symbol to fight a school dress code though, and I think these parents should reconsider making the boy a national news story.

I did see another video about this on Yahoo, in which the school said he could keep his hair long, but he had to wear it in a braid. In that video, the mother said she wouldn't do that because a braid would "make his scalp bleed," which I thought was pretty ridiculous.

http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/4-year-old-told...

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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-12-10 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
35. He is totally adorable. And this is beyond stupid for a school to do that.
My older brother has hair longer then mine (and mine is very long). It is 2010.
My 4 and 5 year old daughters can have hair as short as they want. Such a dumb double standard.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 02:09 AM
Response to Original message
36. Wow. Striped clothing is against the rules.
Is there any kid who hasn't owned clothing with stripes on it?

Denim isn't allowed.

Knit material isn't allowed. Aren't a lot of girls clothes made with knit material? And do they really prohibit things like sweaters?

Is this really a PUBLIC school district? I've never heard of a public school district trying to force people into this kind of a dress code. This is especially ridiculous for kids that young.

According to the pictures, it looks like slacks, shoes, belts and shirts with collars every day. For young kids? Are they kidding?

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Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 02:47 AM
Response to Original message
37. Head, meet desk. nt
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 03:10 AM
Response to Original message
38. My 5 y.o. grandson's hair is about that length: he's trying to grow a ponytail like his daddy has...
Fortunately he is not is public school yet -- but I really don't think it will be an issue in Santa Barbara.

Tater Tot, btw, has an "all boy" face under his mop, with a soul of mischief in his eyes. If his Texas school somehow thinks long hair will make him all girly, they are -- well, words kind of fail me. It's just stupid.

Hekate

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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 05:54 AM
Response to Original message
43. The story is frustrating
Obviously a school shouldn't punish a four year old for his hair length. It's the parents who allowed it to grow out, and the parents who are chasing after the publicity for the story. The poor boy is in the middle of this, and if he truly wants to go back to school, the parents could make it happen pretty easily. But they are taking a stand, and it's ridiculous that the school would suspend him for his hair length.

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HughBeaumont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
44. That's "long hair"?
COME on. It's barely touching his shoulders.

It's amazing that this is the sort of thing adults CARE about. Massive Job loss? Illegal occupation? Ubiquitous corporate control over our lives? Plutocracy? Small potatoes - we need to cut that damned Tater Tot's HAIR! :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes:

Do these people still think it's the goddamned 1950s? Oh wait, of COURSE they do.



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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
46. Ridiculous. He looks like any boy child star of the '70s or '80s

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Stuckinthebush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
47. Hell, I had longer hair that that in 1974 in the 4th grade
My uptight teacher told my parents to cut it and my father laughed at her.

He said, "Look around! All the boys have long hair!"
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semillama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
48. He looks like the toddler version of Jack Black.
What a stupid school district.
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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
49. The school should be sued. n/t
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-13-10 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
50. The Texas Taliban strike again!
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blueamy66 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-14-10 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
53. No zippers or snaps
What kind of pants are the boys wearing??????? 501s?
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