17-year-old O’Rhonde Chapman likes to wear jumbo gold hoop earrings, long flowing wigs and stiletto heels. So what’s the big deal? To the school administrators of Nimitz High School in Texas, it’s the fact that O’Rhonde was born a “he”. Unhappy with his attire, the school principal recently sent him home.
O’Rhonde affirms that he dresses as a woman every day… but on this particular morning, the student wore a wig and stilettos for the first time–two things that apparently sent the principal over the edge.
The teen feels that he is a victim of discrimination, but a spokesperson for the school district denies it. The educational powers that be claim that O’Rhonde violated the dress code and if he adheres to school policy in the future, he can return to school.
But…the school district dress code rules that hair length extending below the bottom of a shirt collar for boys is taboo. It also states that wigs are not acceptable as a cover-up for hair not meeting the dress code. But there are no rules for the length of wigs and Chapman’s natural hair meets the criteria, so what’s the rub?
Chapman says he plans to stand by his decision and not return to school unless his hair goes with him.
“I believe in fighting for what’s right,” Chapman said.
I’m going to weigh in with a big fat, “Who Cares!?!?” Don’t we want our kids to be exposed to different types of people? Isn’t that a good thing? And how is this kid in any way, shape or form hurting anyone else?
See O’Rhonde here on CNN:
Image: Still from Women Who Wear Wigs 1999
Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York