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Question: What should happen here?
Fight the school - 23 (57.5%)
Dye hair back to normal - 17 (42.5%)
Total Voters: 40

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Author Topic: This seems a little overboard to me..What do you think?  (Read 3265 times)
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papasmurff
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« on: August 21, 2008, 04:57:46 AM »

From my local news today.....Well local as in just a small town outside of where I live.

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MOUNTAIN GROVE, Mo. -- With the start of school comes reminders of the rules, like what students can wear and how they should act inside school walls. At Mountain Grove Middle School, those rules are the reason a student is back home when school has barely started.
Keeping students focused is always a challenge. Amelia Robbins, 12, says her style is not to blame for any distractions.

Amelia is a star student who always does her homework, her chores and her hair. While the style changes at will, she takes the color seriously.

“My father passed away when I was 6 years old, and I find the color pink is the cancer color and he died of cancer,” she said Wednesday.

When Amelia finished 6th grade with streaks in her hair, Mountain Grove Middle School administrators weren't fans.

"He said, ‘Okay, it's fine this time but don't do it again,’” said Amelia.

Over the summer, with her mother's permission, Amelia dyed her whole ‘do. The color controversy was not forgotten, however, and her school year stopped days after it started.

"He said, ‘You're suspended until you can change your hair.’ I don't feel like I should have to, because I'm expressing myself as an individual, because they constantly tell us, ‘Be different, don't follow the crowd,’” said Amelia.

“If it's something that's getting in the way,” said Principal J.T. Hale, “we try to address it and curtail it as soon as we can."

Administrators’ authority over distractions is in the school handbook. Amelia says it lacks specifics, however.

"Lay it plain and simple in the handbook: ‘You're not allowed to have these shades of color -- pink, green, whatever.’ But pink could be a shade of red, so can redheads not go to school?" asked Amelia.

"We want it to be equal for everybody, nobody getting any more attention than anyone else, and we just go on with the process of education,” said Hale.

The biggest question now is Amelia’s education.

"I really want to get back to school so I don't have to make up too much work but I'm willing to not be in school to resolve this case,” she said.

And she thinks that's fine with her inspiration (her dad).

"I think he's probably really proud, because I'm fighting for something,” she said.

Because of privacy law, district administrators said they could not specifically discuss Amelia's situation, but talked in general terms about its policies.

Her parents say they’re talking to an attorney and, while they support Amelia wholeheartedly, they are weighing their options for how long to let this go, to dye her hair back, hire a tutor, just something to get her back on track. Hale says the district will work with families in this situation to get students back in school. 

Ok first of all this is public education.  It isn't necessarily up to the school to determine what students can and can't do when it comes to their physical appearance.  Yes when things become distracting it is in the best intrest for the school to step in and ask for changes.  But to suspend a 12 yr old because her hair is a lite pink in remembrance of her father who died of cancer is utterly crazy.  She makes a very good point that the school needs to lay out, specific, guidelines for this (if they even can...again...public education...and shouldn't be able to discriminate based on appearance)

 here is a link to the news article with a picture of the girl

Edit:  Link fixed.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 06:19:51 PM by papasmurff » Logged

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Lee
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2008, 05:12:50 AM »

Her hair being pink to remember her father. Umm yeah, sure. It's a kid making an excuse to get her way. We all did it.

I am all for school dress codes. A little discipline will do them so good. She was warned, she pushed it, made a shitty excuse and now has to learn her lesson.

BTW, your link doesn't contain a link. smile
« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 05:24:42 AM by Lee » Logged
VynlSol
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2008, 05:25:59 AM »

Amelia and her family have chosen the, "Pink Hair," hill to die on, so to speak. Although it sounds like her family is a tiny bit more circumspect about the situation.

What it comes down to, for me, is verifying whether Amelia's pink hair is actually causing a distraction of such magnitude that teachers and other students can't get on with their business as effectively as they otherwise would - or not.

I don't feel the rules need to be altered to specify hair color. It's either a distraction or it isn't. If someone shows up with naturally brown hair coifed in such a manner that it looks like a two foot long piece of rebar jammed into their head, that seems worthy of a distraction debate. And I don't feel like anyone can enumerate an exhaustive list of every conceivable appearance/mannerism/accessorization that a child could exhibit that would generally and reasonably be considered a distraction in a learning environment.

I also don't feel that her motive for sporting pink hair has any relevance at this point. Perhaps initially, but once the decision was made concerning her hair being an actual distraction, not so much. It does make for a good story though.

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Lee
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2008, 05:42:56 AM »

It's not really about it being a distraction. It's about following rules, presenting an image, and discipline. Her principle told her not to do it again after she put a few strips in. She wanted to challenge him by dying her hair completely pink and then came up with an excuse as to why it was ok (a really lame excuse at that). She not only forced the schools hand, but she and her family are making a far bigger deal about it than it is. If she was upset about it, she should have had her parents go to the principle at the end of the previous year when he warned her. She lost all credit by pushing it.

Public schools do have dress codes, even back in my day they did, she knew it and wanted to challenge the system. Setting standards is the very basis for education. As someone who works with teenagers every day in a similar environment I see this kind of behavior all the time. If you let it go, then it leads to further problems down the line by showing the school has no authority. They can't back down now, or they lose control.

If she gets away with this, next she will be drinking underage because she knows it's so easy to get away with since no one enforces the standards. We can't have that. icon_wink
« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 06:24:57 AM by Lee » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2008, 08:27:20 AM »

I'm about to get my hair cut into a mohawk again, and I work at a school.  I can't wait to see what happens...
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2008, 12:23:11 PM »

Why anyone would care if a girl comes to school with pink hair is beyond me.
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2008, 01:56:15 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on August 21, 2008, 12:23:11 PM

Why anyone would care if a girl comes to school with pink hair is beyond me.

Because it's 'evil' and the sign of the devil, that's why!  paranoid Roll Eyes
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2008, 02:49:04 PM »

Here's the link to the story since the OP hasn't been updated with it.

Quote
"He said, ‘Okay, it's fine this time but don't do it again,’” said Amelia.

The whole thing seems silly to me, though when you knowingly break the rules (no matter how dumb they might seem) you should probably be prepared to face the consequences.  I hope they really think fighting the administration on this one rule and getting some media attention is worth missing however much school she'll be missing even though there are probably better ways to try and initiate change than the way they're going about it.
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2008, 03:37:07 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on August 21, 2008, 12:23:11 PM

Why anyone would care if a girl comes to school with pink hair is beyond me.

Agreed.
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2008, 03:38:49 PM »

instead of suspending her they should have shaved her head and made her wear a pink U for 'uppity'  icon_twisted
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2008, 03:57:15 PM »

Quote from: joeyjazz on August 21, 2008, 02:49:04 PM

Here's the link to the story since the OP hasn't been updated with it.

Maybe the lighting is off in that photo, but if I saw that kid on the street, I would think she tried to dye her hair red and the tint came out slightly screwy.  The idea that it could somehow distract her schoolmates is not computing.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 03:58:57 PM by kadnod » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2008, 04:10:27 PM »

It's public school.  Does anyone honestly believe that students are being distracted from anything worthwhile?   icon_wink

Throughout my education I've found school policies and the level of idiocy of education decision makers to be absolutely staggering, so this news item is of little surprise.  While rebellion from ridiculous policies may be warranted, as joeyjazz has said, this student was warned, knowingly broke the rules set in place (no matter how ridiculous those rules may be), and so she must be prepared to suffer the consequences.  The public school system is a strange and ridiculous place.  A close friend recently left public school teaching after 12 years of tenure, and she is blown away by how "normal" the rest of the working world seems.  She, as a teacher, was even subjected to fairly subjective and unreasonable stipulations, and 12 years of idiocy was enough to drive her from the teaching force and move on to curriculum development for a private company. 

While it is a shame for the public school system to lose such a quality teacher (I've met her students and have yet to find a child who didn't adore her as a teacher and as a mentor), stories such as the one this thread refers to are far from being rare.  And yet reason and objectivity has no place in school boards or public school administration.

Quote from: The Grue on August 21, 2008, 12:23:11 PM

Why anyone would care if a girl comes to school with pink hair is beyond me.

Exactly.  As it should be beyond any person capable of any level of reason.
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« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2008, 04:12:32 PM »

Quote from: kadnod on August 21, 2008, 03:57:15 PM


Maybe the lighting is off in that photo, but if I saw that kid on the street, I would think she tried to dye her hair red and the tint came out slightly screwy.  The idea that it could somehow distract her schoolmates is not computing.

Agreed. From the photo, she looks like a normal kid with some kind of "off-red" colored hair. Hardly distracting. The haircut itself is very normal.

"Johnny ... what is 6x7?"

Johnny: "um ... 28 ... no wait .. 48, no ... uh, I can't think, hold on ...  PINK! the answer is PINK! arrrghh! oh god! I'm blinded by the hair! *falls to floor and writhes around*

Yeah I don't see that happening.
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2008, 04:22:31 PM »

I can think of far more distracting things:





Do you notice any pink hair in those examples?  Do you even notice any hair in those examples? 

The school is attempting to make a statement of power and it is simply coming across as ridiculous.  I honestly believe that there are most likey far more important things for the principal to be concerned with.
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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2008, 05:30:36 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on August 21, 2008, 04:22:31 PM

I can think of far more distracting things:





Do you notice any pink hair in those examples?  Do you even notice any hair in those examples? 

The school is attempting to make a statement of power and it is simply coming across as ridiculous.  I honestly believe that there are most likey far more important things for the principal to be concerned with.

I find your examples to be awesome Pete.  I submit the following addendum for no reason whatsoever.
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« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2008, 05:35:34 PM »

Quote from: kratz on August 21, 2008, 03:37:07 PM

Quote from: The Grue on August 21, 2008, 12:23:11 PM

Why anyone would care if a girl comes to school with pink hair is beyond me.

Agreed.
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« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2008, 06:45:09 PM »

Was in a barber shop last year and some kid (less than 10 years) was having is hair dyed.  He had gone to school with green hair and sent home.  His parents were told that its distracting to other kids and don't bring him back until his hair is a more normal color.
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« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2008, 07:03:42 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 21, 2008, 03:38:49 PM

instead of suspending her they should have shaved her head and made her wear a pink U for 'uppity'  icon_twisted
Man, I knew that the random post generator known as CeeKay would eventually post something I could agree with!  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2008, 07:04:05 PM »

I think this goes back to the discussion with the girl that showed up to her prom with a dress that broke the dress-code for the event, was not allowed entrance and raised a stink about it.  Regardless of how ridiculous the rules may be, they are still rules and the students have to abide by them.  What makes her so special that she gets to break the rules?  Nothing.  She dyed her hair knowing full well that the principal told her not to.  WTF was she expecting?  A pat on the back?  I have no sympathy for her.  Sorry.

Quote from: JohnathanStrange on August 21, 2008, 07:03:42 PM

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« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2008, 09:53:18 PM »

They should ban any boobs over an A cup.  I swear I almost failed English because of all the C's I was getting slywink
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« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2008, 10:06:27 PM »

I think the mother is teaching the girl a very important lesson: it's ok to break rules you don't like.  Consequences?  We'll worry about those later.
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« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2008, 10:19:39 PM »

It seems like the school is making too big a deal out of it, if the pic of her is accurate.   Other things in school can be much more distracting (as evidenced by PeteRocks above post).
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« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2008, 12:17:22 AM »

Quote from: JohnathanStrange on August 21, 2008, 07:03:42 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on August 21, 2008, 03:38:49 PM

instead of suspending her they should have shaved her head and made her wear a pink U for 'uppity'  icon_twisted
Man, I knew that the random post generator known as CeeKay would eventually post something I could agree with!  icon_biggrin

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« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2008, 12:22:16 AM »

just noticed....cnn now has this on their news page.......must be a slow day.
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« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2008, 01:17:14 AM »

Quote from: papasmurff on August 23, 2008, 12:22:16 AM

just noticed....cnn now has this on their news page.......must be a slow day.

Well, their planned coverage of the sasquatch has fallen through so they had to move quickly.  slywink
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« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2008, 01:22:28 AM »

Quote from: papasmurff on August 23, 2008, 12:22:16 AM

just noticed....cnn now has this on their news page.......must be a slow day.

They once had Jamie Lynn Spears breaks up with her babydaddy as their lead story. CNN has become about 40% tabloid lately.
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« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2008, 03:10:26 AM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on August 23, 2008, 01:17:14 AM

Quote from: papasmurff on August 23, 2008, 12:22:16 AM

just noticed....cnn now has this on their news page.......must be a slow day.

Well, their planned coverage of the sasquatch has fallen through so they had to move quickly.  slywink

plus they were late on their payment to Russia in return for invading Estonia, so the other major news story of the day fell through.
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« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2008, 06:22:54 AM »

I'm currently reading 1984, and I swear to god some of you people scare the hell out of me, lol.

If it's a stupid rule then by all means it should be broken and its creators shamed. Fuck conformity. Within reason, of course smile.
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« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2008, 06:43:29 AM »

Fuck the pink hair, she should be banned for the gold dress and the limegreen shirt.
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« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2008, 06:58:20 AM »

Quote from: Purge on August 23, 2008, 06:43:29 AM

Fuck the pink hair, she should be banned for the gold dress and the limegreen shirt.

yeah, you're the only one who can pull that look off.
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« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2008, 01:47:53 PM »

Quote from: Jeff Jones on August 21, 2008, 04:12:32 PM

Quote from: kadnod on August 21, 2008, 03:57:15 PM


Maybe the lighting is off in that photo, but if I saw that kid on the street, I would think she tried to dye her hair red and the tint came out slightly screwy.  The idea that it could somehow distract her schoolmates is not computing.

Agreed. From the photo, she looks like a normal kid with some kind of "off-red" colored hair. Hardly distracting. The haircut itself is very normal.

"Johnny ... what is 6x7?"

Johnny: "um ... 28 ... no wait .. 48, no ... uh, I can't think, hold on ...  PINK! the answer is PINK! arrrghh! oh god! I'm blinded by the hair! *falls to floor and writhes around*

Yeah I don't see that happening.

I don't see anything wrong with it either.  If this is the biggest thing their school system has to worry about, they are pretty lucky. Most places are more concerned about funding, school violence, drugs......
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« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2008, 07:27:39 PM »

Sorry, folks, you can't let the monkeys think they can mess with the cage.  Have only 40% of us met a 12 year old?
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« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2008, 09:05:14 PM »

She is not in a position to decide which rules to follow at her school. Screw the suspension. Kick her ass out permanently for going to the press like a whiny biatch. There's a valuable life lesson for her. And the whole using her dad's death for sympathy to excuse her little rebellion is double bullshit.
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« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2008, 09:22:50 PM »

Just tell her that the pink highlights her ugly features and she should just switch now to the goth black she was inevitably headed towards anyway. icon_evil
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« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2008, 09:36:32 PM »

15 will get you 20, PeteRock...

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« Reply #35 on: August 26, 2008, 10:54:24 PM »

update:  Girl allowed back at school with pink hair.  ACLU sent letter threatening legal action on the grounds of personal expression.  School backed down....
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« Reply #36 on: August 26, 2008, 11:52:03 PM »

Quote from: papasmurff on August 26, 2008, 10:54:24 PM

update:  Girl allowed back at school with pink hair.  ACLU sent letter threatening legal action on the grounds of personal expression.  School backed down....

Good.  While the "we'll do what we're told" crowd will surely castigate the ACLU for this, every time some wanna-be dictator gets away with this kind of crap, we all lose our civil liberties.
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« Reply #37 on: August 26, 2008, 11:58:18 PM »

Never underestimate the petulance of spoiled children and their equally spoiled parents.
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« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2008, 12:17:01 AM »

Quote from: Laner on August 26, 2008, 11:58:18 PM

Never underestimate the petulance of spoiled children and their equally spoiled parents.
Yes, how dare they challenge the system! Nothing good has ever come from people challenging awful rules!

slywink Tongue
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« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2008, 03:17:15 PM »

Quote from: Blackadar on August 26, 2008, 11:52:03 PM

Quote from: papasmurff on August 26, 2008, 10:54:24 PM

update:  Girl allowed back at school with pink hair.  ACLU sent letter threatening legal action on the grounds of personal expression.  School backed down....

Good.  While the "we'll do what we're told" crowd will surely castigate the ACLU for this, every time some wanna-be dictator gets away with this kind of crap, we all lose our civil liberties.

This attitude, carried to it's logical conclusion, results in no standards of behavior or dress.  At that point the inmates are running the asylum, as the saying goes, and the only lesson learned is how to get ones own way.  One may debate whether or not public education is worthwhile but school does not exist to provide avenues of personal expression.  The ACLU letter will most likely result in more detailed and stringent appearance policies because the door has been opened to any behavior, all of which willl be described as "personal expression".  And people wonder how "No Toleration" policies came about.  thumbsdown
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