A suburban Dallas school district has suspended a 4-year-old from his prekindergarten class because he wears his hair too long and does not want his parents to cut it.Is the district asserting that long hair prevents learning? Are the girls in the school district subject to the same grooming rules? If not, could their long locks* be responsible for a gender learning gap?
The boy, Taylor Pugh, says he likes his hair long and curly. But on Monday night, the school board in Mesquite voted unanimously to enforce its ban on Beatles haircuts, much less anything approaching coiffures of bands like Led Zeppelin. School officials say the district’s dress code serves to limit distractions in the classroom.
No exception could be made for the pint-size rebel, who sat through the hearing with his hair in a ponytail, manifestly bored.
“It’s a trade-off,” said one board member, Gary Bingham, an insurance agent, in an interview. “Do the parents value his education more than they value a 4-year-old’s decision to make his own grooming choices?”
Is the school district more interested in education or indoctrination? Do the school board members know the difference?
Compare science textbooks from different states. The major textbook publishers offer different versions because Texas demands that theirs pussyfoot around the "theory" of evolution while California and New York want theirs to discuss adaptation. (Smaller states choose among the big state versions.)
You can sometimes see the full science books online at the publisher's websites. For elementary grades, no password is usually required.
* International readers may not be aware of regional differences in hairstyles in the US. There is a vast social chasm between big-haired women and pointy-headed elites. And there is another gulf between merely big hair (a la New Jersey) and what we call "Texas-sized" hair.