Friday, March 04, 2011

Dress Code Distress

My daughter's school has a rule that grates on my nerves.
The students aren't allowed to dye their hair any unnatural colors.
Her school even prohibited a girl from attending her after-the-end-of-the-school-year graduation event because she had blue hair. Interestingly, this rule wasn't enforced equally at that event, allowing another girl with pink streaks to participate. Then again, that other girl was popular, and the blue haired girl... not so much.
So why does it bother me?
It bothers me because I don't feel it is the place of any school board or administrative staff to tell me or my kid what color her hair can be. It bothers me because it smacks of rule making for the point of controlling someone, rather than rule making in order to ensure the health, safety, or education of the students.
I have similar problems with other points in the dress code, but this one specifically makes my brain hurt.

At the beginning of the school year, the assistant principal explained in an orientation assembly that it would be a distraction, then went on to joke that we wouldn't want to see him with green hair, and so it's only fair. I had to bite my tongue, because frankly, green might be an improvement.

Personal attacks aside, honestly, I don't understand how the color of any child's hair is going to detract from the learning environment any more than an interesting bow or complicated braiding style or up-do might.  The children are allowed to wear shirts of whatever color, even ones with pictures and writing.  One would think these things are more distracting.

Further, if the color of a student's *anything* is going to detract from the learning environment, perhaps one needs to address the real problem. If what is going on in the classroom is less engaging than the hair color little Melanie or Stanley have been rocking for a week, then the kids wouldn't be learning, even if Melanie kept her ginger and Stanley kept his brown.

Rules for the sake of squashing creativity have no place in schools, and I'm embarrassed that our local schools enjoy creating rules for the sake of exercising power.

What do you think, would purple hair make it impossible for learning to take place?

2 reflections:

Mama Campbell said...

That is highly annoying. And no, I don't find hair color a distraction. What they need to do is tell that teacher with the huge mole on her chin & that hunky, young history teacher that THEY are more of a distraction then some hair color is. And who deems what colors are distracting and what aren't? Urgh!

I went to a high school with a similar dumb dress code & we weren't allowed to have colored hair or anything. One of my friends had blue hair & they made her cover it until she dyed it black. But she also had *gasp* tattoos that they could not do anything about her showing. So for my graduation, I dyed the ends of my LOOONG hair bright green and tucked my hair into a bun. Then once we started going out, I undid my bun and let my green locks flow. It was the only way I could "stick it to them" without the chance of ruining all I worked so hard to accomplish in high school.

Slee said...

Ooh, proud of you. You rebel!