When senior Brady Slater decided to commemorate his last year of high school with a creative stars and stripes haircut, he had no idea it would land him in trouble with school administrators. He was given the option to shave the design completely out of his head or deal with disciplinary action.
"I asked all my friends during my hours, am I disturbing your guys education; none of them said that I was, so I just didn't assume I had to cut my hair, and they said they would suspend me or expel me if I didn't," Brady told CINewsNow.
The school district superintendent Danielle Owens confirmed that the dress code is enforced on a case-to-case basis, although she declined to disclose the specific rule Brady's haircut violated.
Brady's haircut dilemma is one of multiple reports of questionable high school dress codes and in some cases, the tactics used to enforce them. In May, a New Jersey high school made headlines for promoting the humiliation of students who wore clothing that was deemed inappropriate or "questionable." Instead of addressing the supposed offenders individually, staff members called out the students while their peers observed.
Such a widespread issue certainly won't be resolved overnight, but it's unfortunate that some of these schools allow heavy-handed dress codes to distract them from focusing on education.