Skip to comments.Hairdo don't (HS suspends student over afro)
Posted on 10/11/2007 6:35:06 AM PDT by absolootezer0
A Detroit charter schools says one student's hairdo is definitely a don't and tells him to lose the Afro puff or don't come back. But the mother of Claudius Benson II says her son's school went too far, and she's suing.
Benson, 14, hasn't cut his hair in 10 years. Officials at his school, Old Redford Academy, say the ninth-grader was suspended because his hair is too long. The dress code requires "close-cropped" hair.
So why is his mom suing?
Alecha Benson says she follows the Old Testament passages that she interprets as prohibiting the cutting of her son's hair, and haircuts are against their religion. She is working with the ACLU to sue the school.
"We don't feel that we have to change our belief systems for my son to get an education," she said at an ACLU news conference Wednesday. "We have a right to chose to continue in the school that I enrolled him in. ... He's anxious to go back to school."
The school says it wants to confirm whether or not Claudius has a religious reason for his hairdo. He's been out of school now for nearly a month.
kid is back in school and the ACLU is siding with him (pro-religion).
What would Officer “Link” Lincoln think about this?
If it is just an ordinary Afro, what is the problem? I recall they used to be in style.
dress code requires hair to be cut short, with no rolls, braids or twists.
probably trying to cut back on some of the ‘gangsta’ hair styles.
why would “hair” be in the dress code?
why not? this is a detroit school, trying to get the kids away from the ‘gangsta’ styles and get them ready for college and business. this is also a charter school, you have to apply to get into it. students and parent should be aware of all rules before going in.
dress code link:
That's pretty standard, from what I recall.
"Dress code" as a term can cover one's entire appearance, from the clothes themselves to grooming.
"So what' s the big deal about my afro?"
Make notice this is a charter school and may not fall under the auspices of public schools. If so, the mom and the ACLU have no chance.
The piper will always call the tune and Federal money is never free.
Back in the day, our public school dress code defined the length of sideburns on the guys as well as stating that their hair couldn’t touch the collar in the back. Of course, at the time, they were also required to wear shirts with collars.....
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If the student were to tame the hair, I don't see why it should be a problem--but the student and his family should have to prove their strength of faith, since that is the basis of their suit.
If they can't do that...kid, cut yer hair!
“Alecha Benson says she follows the Old Testament passages that she interprets as prohibiting the cutting of her son’s hair, and haircuts are against their religion.”
I have to wonder if they follow all of the tenants of the Old Testament.....
I could see her complaint if this was a public school but it’s not. It’s a charter, they can set their own rules and she should have researched them enough to find out if their rules and her rules were in sync.
There were indeed a lot of tenants in the Old Testament. During the Captivity in Egypt, there were a couple of million tenants in Goshen alone...
“Alecha Benson says she follows the Old Testament passages that she interprets as prohibiting the cutting of her son’s hair, and haircuts are against their religion. She is working with the ACLU to sue the school.”
I think the actual text forbids rounding the corners of thy beard, or shaving thy forelocks. IOW, this mom is full of it.
Perhaps she could get away with this if she had named him Samson, rather than Claudius.
Or the tenets, for that matter.
Charter schools are public schools, but they don't have to follow all the rules of public schools. I agree that the mom should have made sure her son could follow the rules there before enrolling him.
The case should be interesting, and it supports my contention that the reason public school discipline has degraded so drastically over the past 50 years is because of parental complaints and lawsuits.
They’re open to the public but not the way public schools are, they can refuse students without it being tied to disciplinary action and in most states they aren’t supported by property taxes. That’s the problem with how we re-use words, there’s a lot more to being a public school than merely not being private.
There’s a lot that’s gone into the meltdown of public schools in America, not the least of which is a general animosity all the major players feel for teachers. When the students, parents and administrators all basically dislike or don’t respect the people that are primarily responsible for doing what schools are supposed to do the system has no where to go but down hill. Complaints and lawsuits are a part of that problem.
So, if he has to choose between his religion and the charter school are his civil rights being violated?
Not in any sane world. Because it’s not a public school and not run by the government and the association they have between them is totally voluntary they don’t have to respect his religious views. He can keep his hair long, he just has to go to a different school to do it. Private parties engaged in voluntary interactions cannot violate each others civil rights, they just need to be smart enough to know when they are at cross purposes with one another and need to end their association.
I see your point. I wonder if the courts will - we all know that’s a toss up :)
You are correct that different states have different rules for charter schools. By definition, however, charter schools are part of the public school system, although some may receive funds from private sources, and although charter schools have different rules and goals from other public schools.
When the students, parents and administrators all basically dislike or dont respect the people that are primarily responsible for doing what schools are supposed to do the system has no where to go but down hill. Complaints and lawsuits are a part of that problem.
I think a great deal of the problem stems from "child-centered" psychologies, wherein parents think their children will be stifled or stunted if they are made to follow rules and are not catered to at every turn. We wouldn't want to harm anyone's self-esteem, now, would we?
I don't know. The school's strict dress code is based on getting the students used to a business environment, or so it says. Of course, business dress codes are also becoming more lax, but would an employer be as likely to hire a man wearing a bun as one with close-cropped hair? And would the employer tell the prospective employee why he had not been chosen?
Also, it's not as if the student has to choose between his religion and attending school - as discostu points out, there are other public schools open to the student that would not object to his hairstyle.
Finally, the school states that they were trying to verify that the religious objection actually exists. It sounded as if they were open to granting the student an exemption, IF he could prove his point.
In AZ charter schools have to deal with some supervision from the state but they’re not part of the public school system, there’s just a handful of annoying rules all schools need to follow, even private and parochial. Of course AZ is considered one of the friendliest states when it comes to home and charter schooling so I wouldn’t be surprised if we were pretty unique.
From the parental side the problem tends to be mixed messages. Parents complain about JR getting too much homework or not having a two week absence for a family vacation excused, then they whine that JR isn’t learning anything. Of course that’s just part of the problem, FR rules forbid me from fulling expressing some of the things I’ve heard administrators say about teachers (I used to work somewhere that had schools as the primary customer, got to know too much about it), suffice it to say administrators by and large don’t like teachers and if they could find a way to run a school without any they would in a minute. And of course students don’t like teachers but that’s to be expected, and with no one around them that has any respect for the teacher it’s pretty tough to get the students to at least pretend to respect them. And lastly teachers make some of their own problems, passing students that are a pain because they don’t want to deal with the kid next year doesn’t really help anybody.
I'm glad schools have administrators, because they do a lot of things I wouldn't want to do. Of course, there are a lot of administrators out there who didn't like teaching and/or weren't very good at it, and there are some who are power-hungry and like having their own little fiefdom, and there are some who play favorites and backstab teachers. I'd say that percentage-wise, there are as few excellent administrators as there are excellent teachers. On the other hand, people are flawed humans, and most people have their strong and weak points no matter what their job.
with no one around them that has any respect for the teacher its pretty tough to get the students to at least pretend to respect them
And lastly teachers make some of their own problems, passing students that are a pain because they dont want to deal with the kid next year doesnt really help anybody.
I agree. My stated philosophy has always been that a student who doesn't like me or the subject I teach had better do a great job and pass this year, because they don't want to have to repeat the bad experience. ;-)