Louisiana Student Suspended for Having Long Hair

After a student was suspended at a middle school in Virginia for holding open the door for a visitor and two more children were suspended for drawing stick figures and putting a “kick-me” post-it on a classmate, news of another irrational suspension from Louisiana is making me question whether teachers are suspending students far too readily.  Seth Chaisson, an American Indian junior high school student, was suspended from school for two days for refusing to cut his hair, which he says he keeps long for cultural and religious reasons.

The ACLU quickly got involved, demanding a guarantee that Chaisson would be allowed back in school permanently, and that all disciplinary action would be erased from his record.  They are claiming that suspending Chaisson or even asking him to cut his hair was a violation of his religious freedom.  ACLU executive director Marjorie Esman explained that the action was like refusing to allow a Jewish student to wear a yarmulke or asking a Christian student to take off his or her cross.

Esman said that Chaisson “is becoming more in tune with his own religious beliefs.  Just as a junior high school student might decide to wear a cross that they had never wanted to wear before, he has now decided to grow his hair out in a way he had never decided to do before.”

The ACLU is clearly right here – the boy should never have been subject to such potentially humiliating disciplinary action.  These rules also seem, frankly, absurd – what could the school possibly gain from asking a student to cut his hair?  Sure, it’s something of a cultural oddity for men to have extremely long hair (which in itself is rather inexplicable), but regulating the length of a student’s hair is certainly not within a school’s purview.

 

Photo from Flickr.

122 comments

Lisa D.
Lisa D'Ambrosio4 years ago

Who cares how long his hair is? That's a personal choice ...

Haitham H.
Past Member 5 years ago

My friend emailed the link
for your post
, good reading, I will pass it along.

 

Leigh Everett
Leigh Everett5 years ago

How is it that we can have respect for LGBT, animals, religion and yet we can be suspended for bullshit like drawings, holding open doors and having long hair. I'm sure glad I don't live in the USA, you certainly are a peculiar race.

Jami Winn
Jami Winn5 years ago

i like guys with long hair plus its his decision its an internal affair not that of the schools

Amy K.
Amy Keen5 years ago

MOTHER OF 7 3 OF WHICH ARE IN SCHOOL AND EVERYDAY WISHING THAT I COULD HOMESCHOOL AND NEVER SEND THEM BACK TO PBLIC SCOOL EVER AGAIN!!! PUBLIC SCHOOL HAAS BECOME A DIFFERENT WORLD THAT SEEMS LIKE YOUR CHILDREN ARE TTRAPPED IN AND YOU HAVE TO BECOME A MEMBER OR ELSE!!

Storm W.
Storm W.5 years ago

Steve,
I think that what the author was saying was "inexplicable" is that MORE men don't have long hair -- that it is inexplicable (to the author) that a man with long hair is unusual enough that this kind of situation would even arise.

JMTC,
Storm

[Begin Quote] * Steve M. says
* Mar 27, 2011 4:10 PM

"Sure, it's something of a cultural oddity for men to have extremely long hair (which in itself is rather inexplicable)"
What gives you the right to judge how I wear my hair or clothing or anything else? What kind of a stupid statement is it to say that men wearing their hair long is "rather inexplicable" [End Quote]

Past Member
Past Member 5 years ago

Man, those squares should get off their conservative
soap-boxes and listen to that
great song from The Cowsills from 1969...
♫♪ Gimme a head with Hair..♫♪
♫♪ Long, beautiful Hair..♫♪
♫♪ Shinin' gleamin' streamin' flaxin'-waxin'..♫♪
♫♪ Won't you gimme down to there (Hair) ♫♪
♫♪ Shoulder-length and longer (Hair) ♫♪
♫♪ Here, baby...There, mama..♫♪
♫♪ Everywhere daddy-daddy Hair....
(Hair, Hair, Hair, Hair, Hair, Hair, Hair) ♫♪
♫♪ Grow it..Show it..♫♪
♫♪ Long as I can grow with my Hair...♫♪

Cindy C.
Cindy C.5 years ago

THE SCHOOLS ARE GETTING RIDICULOUS NOW GRRRRRR

Sumit jamadar
Sumit jamadar5 years ago

THANKS 2 INFORM

Jenn I.
Jenn Isaak5 years ago

as long as he keeps it clean and has a hair elastic on hand, who cares, especially if he's not working in the cafeteria kitchen. Seriously though, children learn from what we say, but even more from what we do. What kind of a message is this school trying to teach?