Native American Family Fights Against Hair Length Rules
I was sitting in the library the other day, felt the urge to read an actual, ink-on-paper version of The Houston Chronicle and came across a story about boy who is being disallowed from being enrolled in Needville ISD because of his long hair, which is associated with his family’s Native American religious beliefs. More recently, the Needville ISD board voted unanimously to stand by the district administrator’s decision to ban him.
What do you think?
Honestly, I don’t see what the problem is regarding his hair. More than anything, it’s the rule that’s being enforced that I have a problem with. How could his long hair possibly cause a larger disruption that the school district is causing by disallowing it? School dress codes in general have always been a bit of a foreign concept to me, but Needville ISD’s dress code is especially odd to me. I suppose that never having an honest-to-goodness dress code affected me that way.
But, more than anything, it makes the most sense in my mind to just throw away the entire code and let everyone wear whatever they want. School districts should certainly allow people to practice their religions, but more importantly they should treat all students equally. As Austin Cline puts it,
It’s not legal to give one religious exemption to a rule while denying other religions an exemption. It’s also not legal to give a religious exemption to a rule while denying any non-religious exemptions. Both actions impermissibly favor one religion over others or favor religion over non-religion.