Ready to get mad? A 6-year-old boy has been given in-school suspension by his Texas school that administrators say will be in effect until his mom cuts his long hair. Because really, folks, why bother educating a kid with long hair? Don't you know he's already doomed?
Yes, oh Internet, that was sarcasm. I happen to think JoJo Johnson looks absolutely darling with his long blond hair. And I'm appalled at the message this school district is sending to its students.
They're telling kids that education is not nearly as important as one's looks.
Because really, that's what the hair debacle is all about, isn't it? The district officials have decided that they don't approve of the look of little boys with hair that stretches beyond the bottom of the earlobe. And for that, they're willing to sacrifice a little boy's classroom time.
Congrats to the Frenship Independent School District and Oak Ridge Elementary School both. You've just told every child in your district that it's best to take the superficial path in life.
And we wonder why we have a bullying problem in America? When school officials are so eager to focus on looks, they foster a community where the kids will do the same.
And before you say JoJo's mom is also making this about looks by refusing to bow to the district, it bears noting that this little guy's long hair isn't just a style choice. He is of Native American descent, and it is a Cherokee tradition for males not to cut their hair. Technically, his mom says, that makes the choice a protected right.
The law seems to be on her side, and I'm hoping she'll win. But frankly, she shouldn't need a religious excuse to protect her son's hair.
School districts need to be led by people who care more about the important things -- you know, like educating kids (!) -- than issues as shallow as the length of one's hair.
What do you make of the message that's being sent by punishing this kid with time out of the classroom?
Image via Rochelle, just Rochelle/Flickr