School Administrators Think Boy's Mohawk Can Poke Someone's Eye

When I was in high school, we had a terrible double standard when it came to dress codes.

I attended Central High School in Muncie, Indiana, and graduated in 19-none-of-your-business. (Okay, it was in the mid '80s. Now get off my lawn.)

Back in those days, when the weather got hot, the boys could wear shorts to school, but the girls could not. They had to wear jeans, dresses, or skirts, but no shorts. There was even a minimum length to their skirts — no higher than the girl's fingertips when her arms were at her side.

This always worked against the girls with unusually long arms and big hands.

The administrators believed we boys would be distracted by girls wearing shorts. Never mind we had co-ed gym class. Never mind that many of us were athletes and saw the girls who ran track and cross country. Or that we grew up with girls in shorts.

No, the temptations of femininity would no doubt render us stupid and we would be unable to control ourselves.

I always felt a little insulted by this. Not because girls couldn't wear shorts, but because people thought so little of us boys.

For one thing, I knew how to control myself whenever I saw a girl's leg. For another, there were already plenty of things to distract me from learning. It's not like this would be the thing that would result in me managing a Hot Sam stand in the mall.

Near the end of my senior year, some girls decided they wanted to fight the dress code, and wore shorts to school. They were pulled from class and told they had to change clothes or be suspended.

They chose suspension, and their parents were called. Parents with a sense of civic duty and civil mindedness. Parents who hated double standards created by sexist boneheads who thought boys were slobbering perverts.

According to the school rumor mill, there was a huge blowup in the dean's office. There were accusations of sexism and double standards, and threats of lawyers at ten paces. But the dean relented and allowed everyone to wear shorts whenever it hit 82 degrees.

It's hard to imagine anyone being so unyielding today, but it still happens. There are always administrators who make boneheaded decisions and then justify them using addle-minded logic.

And before you go shouting #NotAllAdministrators, I'm not accusing all administrators of being morons. Just the ones who take a myopic, narrow-minded view of the rules and make up ridiculous reasons for their decisions.

Like the ones at Drayton Park Primary School in Milton Keynes, England. They thought Charlie Chafer's teeny-tiny mohawk was dangerous and a disruption to the learning process.

Charlie, who's six, has a 1.5 inch mohawk, and when he went to school a few weeks ago, he wanted to show it off to his classmates. It's a little boy's fauxhawk, not one of those 12" punk rock mohawks that look like a Roman Centurion's helmet.

But the administrators decided Charlie's hair was "too extreme" and could distract others. They called Charlie's mom, Kirstie Lea-Day and said he couldn't come to school with that haircut anymore.

"I was even told he needed to shave his head for safety reasons, as it could poke someone in the eye," Kirstie told the Metro UK newspaper.

You read that right. Allegedly bright, educated adults think a kid's hair could poke someone's eye. They arm students with sharp pencils, but a little boy's mohawk is going to blind the entire first grade?

This is why I always roll my eyes at school administrators — #NotAllAdministrators — who worry more about nitpicky rules than a child's education. The ones more concerned that rules are followed even at the cost of crushing a child's spirit.

The ones who aren't happy unless they can hammer the squarest pegs into a round hole.

These people are a big problem in today's educational system.

Someone who makes up an excuse like this is either an idiot or is grasping at straws to justify a boneheaded decision.

We call these people "liars."

Someone lied to Kirstie Lea-Day when they said her son's hair could put someone's eye out.

Someone lied to her when they said the other children would be distracted by his haircut.

And someone lied to the girls in my school when they said their shorts would "disrupt the educational process."

I agree, there needs to be some standards and levels of acceptable behavior. But if you're policing someone's haircut or wardrobe choices, you're creating more problems than you're solving.

So, hey, administrators! Leave those kids alone. Let them focus on their education. If you want to wallow in rules and regulations, go work for the government.

Photo credit: Clipmage (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 2.0)

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