This is my fight

Okay, not my fight, but an interesting one. I had no idea that public schools still enforced gender specific hair standards. It seems unreal to me, like a relic from the 1960s.

But there is also the issue of respecting Native American culture. It seems (I am not well versed on the subject) that the school district is trampling on an aspect of cultural expression.

The Needville Independent School District has informed me that my son will not be allowed to attend Kindergarten in the fall because he has long hair. He is Native American.

Sound like a good story? You bet it is.

First a little background information for you interested readers. My husband and I have been together for about 10 years and married for almost 6. We have a 5 year old son together and will be soon moving to Needville, Texas to start a small family farm on property that my parents own out there. We’re excited about our soon to be (hopefully quiet) rural life away from the city. For those of you that don’t know, Needville is a small town to the South of Houston.

We’re planning on growing our own crops and raising goats and chickens for meat and milk. Maybe a cow or two also. We own four horses and board six others on our property and we will move there permanently in the next two months or so.

So, here is the beginning of my fight with Needville ISD. Since we are moving there soon, I decided to contact the principal of the elementary school about what I needed to do to enroll my son. I also figured it was a good time to let her know that my son has long hair since most public schools have dress codes prohibiting that. On May 27 I wrote the following email to the Needville Elementary school principal:…

(an email exchange follows)

First off, this depends on the public school. Not all of them have this dress code. Second, I think she needs to change her tactic a little. To me, in the second email, she comes off sounded like “If I don’t get my way I’m gonna sue your pants off!” Not exactly a good tactic to take on a first email to the superintendent. Lastly, she sounds like she is lumping all Native Americans together. You can not do that. Native American beliefs vary depending on the tribe. Not all of them believe long hair in men is necessary. I have seen a number of Native Americans which have short hair or hair that cames down to the collar line. At this point in the game, with only 2 emails to the teacher and one response and one email and response from the Superintendent, I wouldn’t call it much of a fight. If she goes into that meeting with all guns blazing she is going to be giving a really bad first impression. After all as the old saying goes “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” :wink:

I just wanted to add:

I would have left off the little tide bit about the hair in the email to the teacher. IMHO, that is something that should be dealt with in person and not over the internet.

They can probably get away with it, in the states where that kind of thing is permitted for schools.

Of course, what is permitted, and what is right are often two different things.

The school board will end up looking like bigoted fools, win or lose. And that’s a shame.

It would appear to me that this woman was itching for a fight. Her first e-mail to the school mentioned her sons hair.

Why on earth would she even think to ask that question?:rolleyes:

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