Texas school district says 4 year old must cut hair or wear dress

Absurd, right?

Randi Woodley took her grandson to meet his primary school teachers in August.

Woodley said she was called into the principal’s office, where she was told that Michael’s long hair didn’t comply with the dress code and had to be either cut or braided.

She claims the superintendent then told her “[she] could either cut it, braid it and pin it up, or put my grandson in a dress and send him to school and, when prompted, my grandson must say he’s a girl.”

Some are calling this racial discrimination, as it’s very common for African-American males to have long hair. I personally don’t even find this to be the case, but rather sexual discrimination. The school district’s dress code states the following:

The [Tatum ISD dress code] states that a male student’s hair cannot fall below the top of a T-shirt collar. It also says “no ponytails, ducktails, rat-tails, male bun or puffballs” are allowed on boys.

Completely and utterly sexual discrimination. If a female can wear a pony tail, or a bun, etc., why can’t a male? Or, why must a boy, who identifies as a boy, be forced to wear a dress to school in order to have long hair?


@GWH Why was this moved? Discrimination-be it sexual or racial-it a political topic.

Because it looks stupid on males? Maybe the school is just trying to teach good taste?

(Just joking.)

Texas doesn’t allow girls to wear pants to school either?

Where is it very common for African American boys to have long hair?

I swear I lived among a bigger population of African descended immigrants & native borns in Florida than is here, & in neither state did I see even one boy of this description with anything but a neatly trimmed Afro.

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I’ve taught many of them in my 11 years.

Do you believe this district is acting in a discriminatory manner?

I see nothing unreasonable about the dress code. I wish schools here had one as I see ripped jeans that look like they’re ready for a dumpster; shorts that really don’t cover much; and tops that reveal more than is necessary.

Some either have bad hygiene or are into perfumes & scented lotions that could aggravate symptoms of those with allergies, asthma, migraine type problems.

More power to Texas for having minimum standards at least for grooming for its students.

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No I really don’t, unless someone can find proof of white boys allowed to wear their hair long (or American Indian, or any other students).

Doesn’t appear they’re allowing dreads, ponytails or man buns for any of their male students.

Personally, I don’t think it should be up to a school district to monitor hair styles. Butt out!

That little boy is adorable, there is nothing wrong or offensive about his hair.


Honest question-did you read the entire OP?

Schools have a right and a responsibility to make sure students aren’t distracting other students. But in this case, I don’t see how a boy with long hair is distracting kids from learning their ABCs. The school district is out of bounds.

Yes I did.

And the linked article showed no proof of any white, Mexican or any other boys being allowed to wear their hair long.

It listed styles generally not worn by black boys and men, like man buns. Those aren’t allowed, either.

Not seeing sexual discrimination, either. Maybe they don’t want students mistaking or insulting one another over perceived gender (ex you look like a girl).

Wait until they get their first part time job in some areas like fast food service. Some of these restaurants have different grooming standards for hair for both male & female employees.

So did you read this part:

I directly made the point that I don’t believe it is racial, but I do believe it is sexual.

Life and work are full of different standards for boys and girls. School too.

It wasn’t so reasonable where I went to high school, for example, for young women to be allowed to wear miniskirts in hot weather, but no shorts for the young men.

It’s about the age many will be trying for their first volunteer & job opportunities, and many interviewers won’t be open to shorts & miniskirts. Maybe it’s time for trousers & longer skirts.

Now maybe it’s not so reasonable to impose these codes as young as 4 years old, but it’s their district and therefore their decision as to what minimum standards are.

Why? Standards of behavior should be exactly the same. Why not standards of dress?

I’m in my 12th year of teaching. I’m a tall, male with long hair nearly worn in a ponytail, 3 ear piercings, and my professionalism has never been called into question. I was hired because I was the most qualified candidate. And I teach in a VERY rural, religious part of the country.

They CAN decide, but that doesn’t mean it’s not discriminatory.

Why can a girl wear her hair in a bun or ponytail, but this boy could not?

Seems to me the school has chosen a strange hill to waste its resources on.

But if this is a matter of discrimination, it’s not about race. It’s about hairstyles. ( shrug )

I don’t disagree there.

As I mentioned in my OP, I actually find this to be a problem of sexual discrimination.

Why can’t a guy wear a pony tail or a bun, or a “puff” but a girl can?

I think that’s pretty absurd.

My school system just majorly overhauled our dress code-we wasted SO much time worrying about stupid stuff like “does your shirt have a collar? Are the bottoms of your jeans frayed? (no joke) Does your shirt have a brand logo on it? (no joke).”

If a guy wants to wear his hair long, so what? What “standard” does that violate? If a female wants to have a short cut, is that allowed?

Should we compel young women to have long hair cuts? Beehives maybe? Buns? Is that a problem that violates “different standards” or can we objectively look at old-fashioned sexual standards like this and realize they serve no purpose other than trying to force our own beliefs about appearance on others?

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The district can tell the child to cut the hair unless its an expression of speech but can not tell to wear a dress as alternative option.

This might be a harbinger of that might happen if the school (and the kid’s parents) stick to their guns: