A Lubbock, Texas, middle school has pretty strict rules regarding haircuts. Its dress code prohibits any design shaved into the scalp, apparently even one intended to mimic or enhance a part. Based on this policy, when Monica Esquivel’s son showed up at Coronado Middle School with what administrators felt was a “distracting” haircut, they took action: They waited five months, then colored in the line on his head with a black marker.
Esquivel insists her son Kobi’s haircut is within policy regulations. “It’s not a design — it’s the haircut. The style that’s coming out is the comb-over.” What Esquivel is referring to is a hot men’s cut right now — the “side part comb-over” — where a line is shaved on the head, creating a “hard part.” This is the distracting style Kobi has: a simple, straight line shaved into his head, enhancing the appearance of his part.
The Plainview Independent School District (ISD)’s policy simply says, “No designs shaved into the scalp,” so Esquivel’s interpretation is reasonable. Policy also states that if grooming is determined to violate code standards, the child will either be given an opportunity to correct the problem at school or be sent to an in-school suspension until the problem is corrected. Granted, this mostly relates to clothing issues, but drawing on a child’s head is a bit of an extreme way to “correct the problem at school.” Especially considering Kobi had been attending classes for five months with that hairstyle. I fail to see the urgency that justified marking him up with neither a parent’s notification nor approval.
The policy on its own is slightly racist, as it makes no allowances for non-white males who genetically have no part in their hair and have to have one shaved in. I can understand wanting to eliminate truly distracting styles, such as graffiti-style words shaved into heads, but a simple line shaved along a natural part doesn’t seem as though it would cause too many heads to turn.
Ironically, administrators violated their own policy by marking on Kobi. From their handbook: “Body art, tattoos, or any kind of writing on the student will not be permitted in PK-8th grade” (emphasis added).
More dress code fails
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