Patterico's Pontifications

8/26/2008

Boy Sampson vs The Principled Principal: First Day of School

Filed under: Civil Liberties — DRJ @ 1:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In a follow-up to this Patterico post from mid-July, the Houston Chronicle reports a 5-year-old Indian boy in rural South Texas will be allowed to attend public school without cutting his hair but it will be braided. The mother declined to discuss why the school waived its hair length rule.

There’s a photo at the link. He’s a cute boy but he’d be a cute girl, too, which means he may be in for some teasing.

— DRJ

10 Responses to “Boy Sampson vs The Principled Principal: First Day of School”

  1. He’s a cute boy but he’d be a cute girl, too, which means he may be in for some teasing.

    He’d be an adorable little girl. It doesn’t help matters that his name – “Adriel” – is androgynous. Wearing his hair like that means he’s going to have to explain he’s not a girl a lot. Even worse, if he follows his mother’s diet, he’s gonna be looking like a obese chick by the time he’s ten.

    L.N. Smithee (d1de1b)

  2. I went to school in Houston as a kid, and knew Indian kids who didn’t cut their hair. This doesn’t seem very novel.

    And yeah, he’ll get picked on. That’s almost a good thing.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  3. Most importantly is for the parents of his classmates to reinforce in their children that they should treat others the way they want to be treated.

    And, if the classmates are caught harrassing him for his looks they should be taught an important lesson by way of restrictions and an apology to the boy.

    Shame on the adults who teach their kids to judge others by their looks…as long as it doesnt’ happen to them, that is. The school has chosen to do the right thing. Let’s see them continue with it.

    Steve (1d8651)

  4. I agree with Steve. There is no rational relationship between the length of a boy’s hair and his ability to learn what a school is there to teach him.

    nk (3c7a86)

  5. nk – a very close second to the primacy of learning “stuff” at school, is the socialization of a child. If a kid does not learn to conform to societal norms; or they fail to grasp that there are limitations, then they are doomed.

    You want to wear a bathing suit to an interview? Go ahead. How about putting on more make-up than any tart in histoire? No problem, honey, the world will just have to conform to YOU.

    I wish it weren’t this way. Truly. But we do our children a grave disservice if we don’t set arbitrary limits on them early on. Normative appearance hurts no kid.

    Now, if y’all want to get riled up regarding the subject matter, like politically correct everything? I’m right there with ya!

    Ed (ddaac8)

  6. Normative appearance hurts no kid.

    Probably not. They’re tough little things.

    On the other hand, long hair does not hurt any societal interest either. It’s something that comes and goes. Maybe the kid does not want to be a high school principal in Texas. Maybe he wants to be a physics professor at Princeton.

    nk (3c7a86)

  7. Very few school rules involve a strong societal interest and I may be wrong about this, but I think children develop self-discipline from experiencing external discipline. I also think non-conformity is overrated in the young.

    DRJ (7568a2)

  8. My daughter and I are now in a fight with my wife over the length of our hair. My wife is right in my case — there’s no reason I should subject the world to more than one inch of my gray, wiry spikes. But my daughter has beautiful bronze curls, like a Karyatid, and she and I both want to see them grow out instead of cutting them at ear-length.

    nk (3c7a86)

  9. It’s not a question of getting picked on at school. It’s just a question of what you’ll get picked on for. Hair is a good option.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  10. DRJ #7,

    My daughter’s daddy is the one who taught her “They do what they do and we do what we do”.

    He learned it from his daddy.

    I still love you, BTW. (In a proper, gentlemanly way that will not get me beat up by either you or your husband, of course. 😉 )

    nk (3c7a86)


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