Via Alternet – 4-Year-Old Boy Suspended From School for Months Because His Hair Is ‘Too Long’. This is a public school holding a four-year old boy to a different standard than girls for hair length. The Fourteenth Amendment applies, and gender stereotyping should be forbidden here. Sure, gender stereotyping from parents, relatives, and peers starts very early, probably at birth. But, the state needs to stay out of that business at all times.
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 you’re dealing with a bunch of kids that young, you’d 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.
- David S. Cohen