When it comes to setting rules for kids, the more specific you are, the better chance you have of getting them followed. It's a lesson I've learned the hard way as a mom. And it's a lesson more school administrators should take to heart ... schools like the one that made 15-year-old Shannon Close sit in an isolation room all day for dyeing her hair red.
Shannon's mom is spitting mad right now, and I don't blame her. Her daughter's school has a policy about hair, but all it says is "hair color and style must be appropriate for school." Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Because I read that, and all I could think was, "What the heck does that even mean?!" As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. One principal's "appropriate" is another principal's "just this side of harlot." In my house, dyed hair is appropriate -- heck, I just shaved my head after two months of rocking pink locks (it's to help fight kid's cancer) -- but I have friends who don't believe in hair dye, especially on kids, even if it's safe.
So I understand where Shannon's mom said, "Sure, honey, go ahead, dye your hair!" And she's not out of line to expect the school to leave her kid's red hair alone. They didn't tell the kid NOT to dye her hair, did they?
That may sound too obvious, but this is a real problem for parents.
I've seen school handbooks that call for "modest" clothing for girls. To me that would include a tank top that covers the midriff and doesn't show any cleavage; to the Duggars that would probably fall somewhere in the "what Laura Ingalls wore" category. How are two different parents supposed to interpret that?
It's our job as parents to make sure our kids follow the school handbook (even if it did have a ridiculous rule about hair dye, cough, cough), but we can't read the minds of administrators who dish out vague rules. If they want something from our kids, they need to tell us. Only then should kids be punished for violating the rules.
Do you think red hair dye falls under "inappropriate" hair for school? What do you think would be a good policy for hair?
Image via mommyknows/Flickr