19 May 2011

In for an inch, in for a mile: Not Running Related (Honestly)

I feel as if I am fighting a battle with my son. And the battle is trying to get him to NOT hate school. This is a heart-breaking battle to have to wage. Sometimes I shudder to think of all the times that my son is told no throughout the school day. He wanted to try out for the talent show. He was told that his talent was inappropriate (Musical Arm Farting!). I disagree with both that assessment and the fact that my son was told this information in the first place. His talent is completely age appropriate. He isn’t a Wall Street Broker; he is a seven year old boy.

Today he threw the cosmic balance out of whack for wearing colored hair gel to school.

Before my son started his instructional day, he was told to go to the office by another teacher for the offensive hair. I then received a phone call in the middle of my first period class from the school. My first thought is that my son broke a limb--why else interrupt my instruction of my students. But then I hear that my son had a "misunderstanding" about crazy hair day.


There was no misunderstanding other than the school's misunderstanding about what is actually something to worry about and what is NOT actually something to worry about.

Then he is on the phone with me crying. I try to console him. I asked the secretary if it wasn't allowed. She tells me it isn't. She says, "It's in the handbook." (A handbook that I've since discovered isn't anywhere online.)

Who checks the damned handbook? I check my common sense. Huge mistake when a school doesn't operate under any.

Let me break this down.

1. Does a little color in a student’s hair really “materially and substantially” disrupt the educational process? I can understand that green hair may have been quite scandalous back in the 1950s, but in 2011 it seems like a stretch to argue that green hair gel “materially and substantially” disrupts the educational process OR that it is somehow a danger to others. Or a health concern. I would argue that my son's "altered" hair is no more distracting than a new Justin Bieber shirt or a new pair of shoes.

And if a teacher cannot get kids on track with learning with a little colored hair gel in the classroom, there are much larger issues to address.

2. I work in a school where if I sent a kid out of class because of this, I would be asked some serious questions by my administration. I would have to justify the child being out of the class. Being pulled out of the class is akin to a suspension since the child is missing out on instructional time. My concern is that my son was taken out of class to deal with this when he should have been learning.

3. And if "no artificial hair coloring is allowed" most of the faculty wouldn't be blonde!

Mad props to the principal for calling me and hearing my perspective and the idiocy of their hair code when it is 2011. At the Mother's Day activity, I'm pretty sure that the non-tattooed mothers were the minority. Times they have a-changed. Green hair isn't scandalous.

But it only got worse when I learned from my husband that other children were allowed to have temporarily dyed hair today. My son wasn't on the chosen list. Dearest readers, you will LOVE the reason why.

The Chosen were those who were performing at the Talent Show.

1 comment:

  1. I hate to say it. But get thee to a charter.