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SCHOOL SUSPENDS 6-year-old for Mohawk

By Ann Tatko-Peterson
Monday, March 3rd, 2008 at 2:25 pm in Just Bizarre.

bryanTalk about a bad hair day. A 6-year-old boy was suspended from a Cleveland charter school because his Mohawk haircut violated the school’s definition of “properly groomed.” Michelle Barile, mother of 6-year-old Bryan Ruda, was warned about the haircut twice. The third time Bryan showed up with the spikey ‘do, the school told his mom to take him home. Apparently, her son’s haircut was deemed a “distraction.” (For more on the story, read here.)

His mom’s response: “I understand they have a dress code. I understand he has a uniform. But this is total discrimation. They can’t tell me how I can cut his hair.” Rather than appeal the school’s decision, Barile plans to enroll him in a different school.

Now, for our take: I understand dress codes that limit gang-associated clothing. I get that some schools opt for uniforms. I really like that proper grooming means wash your hair so kids won’t spread lice. But when school officials think they can wield scissors and define proper grooming so restrictively, it’s time to remind them that we live in a free nation.

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