Teen Kicked Out of School for Being Himself

beardYou don't have to tell me twice that being a teenager is tough. It's all sprouting boobs and popping pimples and growing hair and cracking voices. So you'd think the last thing a high school would want to do is make a kid feel bad about their changing body. But of course in the world of school administrators who believe "everything teenagers are doing is just trying to get one over on the adults," you'd be wrong. How else do you explain why a teenage boy was kicked out of school for growing a little scruff on his chin?


Harrison Cerami is 15. And his school doesn't seem to care that his one ear is gauged or the other has a sparkly gem in it. But until he shaves the five o'clock shadow off his face, the teenage boy has been told he can't come back to class.

Seems simple enough, I guess. You just take a razor and shave it off. But Harrison's mom says her son has a skin condition that makes shaving painful. A typical teen, the younger Cerami is struggling with acne, so she's calling for the school to let him get by with a respectful trimmed bit of scruff.

I confess I just don't get the fuss here. Like the debate over what happens with the locks on TOP of a kid's head, the length of the hair on their chinny, chin, chins is such a non-issue in the long term. But where short hair on girls or funky colors can get people all up in arms because it's something the kids have done to themselves, the fact is a beard on a boy isn't a choice. It's biology.

When boys hit a certain age, the hair follicles get kicked into overdrive, and the fuzz starts to sprout. The same thing happens to girls; only with us it's on our legs and under the pits. And I've yet to see a school demanding girls keep their leg hair trimmed or their pits in line. So why are we making teen boys feel like freaks because their bodies grow some hair?

I'm getting tired of schools making kids hate themselves and their bodies. Society, magazines do enough of that. But schools should be a safe haven for kids, places where kids are nurtured as they battle nature.

Should schools really regulate kids' biological changes?

Image via Jason Cartwright/Flickr

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