According to My Fox Orlando, Lake County school officials want to ban extreme makeup and hairstyles from their schools. Their reasons are that it’s distracting and it’s a safety issue. They think that banning extreme hairdos will cut down on distractions in the classroom.
For real? I had pink and purple hair back in high school. I’m pretty sure it had no effect on my (or anyone else’s learning). I got good grades. Well, except in math, but that wasn’t because of my hair; it was because it was math. Anyone who was in school with me and failed your classes due to my “extreme hair” feel free to set me straight here.
Students are used to seeing other students with crazy hair, makeup, and/or clothing. According to my experts (my own teens), no one cares. It doesn’t distract them. It doesn’t hinder their learning experience. It’s a non-issue.
A school spokesperson even went so far as to say that too much mascara, eyeshadow, or bangs that blocked a person’s eyes was a safety issue. Puh-lease. My middle son has always had long hair. I can’t remember the last time I saw his eyes. Yet, he’s never walked into a wall, fallen in the hallway, or had any other safety related issues because of his long hair. And really? Mascara? A safety issue? Sure, too much eye makeup could leave a student looking like Tammy Faye, but I still can’t figure out how it could be a safety issue. I think that’s quite a stretch.
And how do you enforce such a rule? If a student dyes her brown hair blond, is that extreme? It’s not her natural color, but it’s not a color of the rainbow. Where would that fall if these new rules pass? Would boys have to wear their hair short? What constitutes too much makeup? If the rules come to pass, that leaves an awful lot of interpretation up to teachers and staff, and who wants to open that can of worms?
This is public school, people. And the public is made up of all sorts of different folks. Teens, especially, are trying to find their place in the world and self-expression is an important part of that equation. I say, “Stop trying to put everyone into a cookie cutter mold of the ideal student and let them be.” The final vote will take place when kids go back to school on August 22.
What do you think? Should teens be allowed to express themselves in public school, or should schools have the power to dictate how students look?
Image: Thank you, random girl, for letting me take your picture at a Starbucks in Chicago
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