Saturday, December 19, 2009

Breaking The Texas Rules By Having Long Hair

Recently the ISD (Independent School District) of the Dallas suburb of Mesquite insisted that a little 4 year old boy named Taylor Pugh get his hair cut or get out of school.

Yes, you reading this in more civilized parts of America, I am not making this up.

Taylor's parents say they will pull him out of school rather than make him get the hair he likes so much, cut.

Now, it is well known that many Texas schools do not perform, education quality wise, as well as schools in other parts of America. Wasting time on a 4 year old's hair, rather than teaching him, seems like it might be a symptom of a bigger problem.

As in way too many stupid people in positions to do damage with their stupidity.

Speaking of stupid. Taylor's hair first came to my attention when reading Letters to the Editor in the Dallas Morning News. Two people opined about Taylor and his parents, saying things like...

"Yet another young person who will enter society with an attitude of disrespect and self-entitlement. I would only hope that they don't just leave the Mesquite ISD, but that they would leave the entire state of Texas."


"I want to congratulate the Mesquite ISD for sticking to its dress code. It is nice to see a school district that refuses to be bullied by parents who do not respect authority.

Sometimes the rules don't have to make sense to everyone; they are just simply the rules.

As far as raising a child who is brought up to rebel against the simplest of rules -- good luck with that. Maybe we will read about this kid again in the paper in about 10 to 15 years, but let's hope not."

How depressing. How can people be this stupid? It is better to teach a kid to question authority rather than blindly, obediently conform. There was a time, not too long ago, when a country insisted its citizens be blindly obedient and follow the rules. Some brave souls broke the rules, but the majority only followed orders. World War II was the result. And Germany and Germans remained stained, a half century plus later, by their blind obedience and conformity to authority.

Taylor's hair was hurting no one. Though Taylor does live in Texas, he also lives in America. In America we have this thing called freedom. This freedom covers all sorts of things, like the freedom to express yourself in any way you want, including how you dress or wear you hair. As long as your exercise of your freedom does not encroach on anyone else's freedom.

I believe the boneheads who made an issue of Taylor's hair and put Taylor's parents in a position they should not have been put in, should be fired. If the decision to make an issue over Taylor's hair went all the way to the Superintendent, he or she needs to go too.

Then today at least part of this aggravation had a happy ending that left me way less depressed about the blind obedience to authority practiced by way too many Texans.

The Letters to the Editor from the 2 boneheads generated a large number of follow-up letters that greatly improved my opinion about opinionated Texans.

Like jmac who said...

"Good grief. Will Texas ever grow up? This is a repeat of the 70's."

And then Pursuit of Happiness said...

Out of the state… That’s good comrade. Perhaps the state should build some camps to keep troublemakers like this isolated from everyone else. It wouldn’t do to have everybody questioning the rules. Maybe we could get some hair length police and encourage people to turn in their neighbors. After all, we all know that there is only one morality.

You might recall that Jesus had long hair and was a rule breaker. The same for Einstein."

With ashlock4forgreenfuture saying...

"Following rules "because they're the rules" is how some of the worst atrocities in history got committed. In Nazi Germany, it was the "rule" that Germans had to persecute Jews. The most important lesson a parent can teach a child is to think about whether a rule makes sense, before following it.

Respect for authority is not a good thing to have. The heroes of history have been those who respected their own conscience in defiance of authority.

I think this is more about persecuting the kid's parents for being countercultural, than it is about the kid. The dad is a former tattoo artist with earrings who used to shave his head-- well, they can't punish him. so they're trying to punish him through his kid."

Emily makes a really good point...

"When did the school systems job become teaching children how to conform rather than educate them on how to function in society of individuals? Let's not forget that public school is something that we pay for and should have authority over. Not the other way around. I commend the parents for teaching their kid that it's important to not obey but to choose to co-operate on what he feels is fair and just and refuse to co-operate on things that are not. There are many reasons for him to have long hair, all of which are none of the school business. This issue of long hair and authority is not something that is going to keep this kid from getting a job or being successful. Segregating him from class over petty issues is."

And finally Soup said...

"To the people who argue that it's more important to teach respect for authority, I entirely disagree. People understand laws. They understand rules. This is not something that has to be hammered into someone's head from the day they are born.

Far more important, and far more true to the philosophy of the Founding Father's of these United States, we should be teaching our children TO question authority. After all, were our founding fathers not questioning authority when they started the American Revolution? Was the Boston Tea Party simply a misunderstanding? Did the participants not realize that they were undermining the authority of the British government? Trivial crap like this is the perfect opportunity to teach our children to mind their rights.

Of course, I guess we could do as Texas wants and encourage our children to blindly trust their government. Surely no harm could come from that. (For the geniuses out there, that was sarcasm, and so was calling you geniuses)"

There were many more letters regarding this issue. A few were of the bonehead sort, the majority were of the non-ignorant sort. You can read them all here. Trust me, these are good comments from a lot of very smart Texans. I'm feeling much more optimistic about this place.

But, I am also wondering hope deep this teaching of blind adherence to rules goes? Has this been going on for generations? Did the cultural revolution of the 1960s skip North Texas? Is this conforming, don't question authority, attitude why there is not more of a rebellion against what's being done to North Texas and North Texans by the gas drilling industry? Is it why so few people vote? Is it why there are so few organized protests here, when there is so much to protest about?

A school district in Texas is allowed to embarrass and harass a family over a little boy's hair, while in Arlington a gas drilling company is allowed to disturb the peace of who knows how many people by drilling around the clock with the Do Not Disturb The Peace rule not applying to them. Little boy's hair hurt no one, little boy gets, well, punished. Gas driller hurts a lot of people, does not get told to stop, does not get punished.

Like I said, rules are made to be broken. I think if some entity is disturbing my sleep and won't stop, I'd be within my rights to do whatever it takes to shut them up. I wonder how one goes about toppling a tower?


Steve A said...


I missed the spot in the Bible where Jesus's hair length is discussed. Like a lot of things, hair is superficial and not very useful to judge people one way or the other. Rasputin & Manson both had long hair. Ditto for most of our Founding Fathers.

Jovan Gonzales said...

Seriously. Long white, stinky, powdered wigs were allllll the rage back in the day ... would they have been told to leave school for such a thing!?

What makes me sad is that most of Texas schools are like this. My school (Sulphur Springs Middle/High) had flip-flops, long hair, spaghetti strap shirts, and spiky jewelry banned.

Lucky for me, my friends and I basically had a don't-show-up-day and then wear-spaghetti-stap-shirts-spiky-jewelry-and-flip-flops-day. We showed them. The flip-flops and spaghetti straps were overturned, lol. A kid wanted to grow his hair out for locks of love and even with documentation and such, they would not allow him to grow it out. Lame.

Things like this just irk me beyond belief. We should be spending what little money our schools DO get on teaching and not enforcing. I was always told in school that "entering school basically means you give up all of your rights." I fully agree. College is thankfully much different.

And yes, the 60s didn't happen in Texas. Had Texas never been its own republic, sentiments might be different. Had we pretty much not been the root cause of the Mexican-American War, things might also be different. Close-mindedness runs deep here. Trust me on that one. Pride in Texas tends to turn into blatant ignorance of how to adapt to changing times and such.

Texas has the 2nd longest constitution, a government that only meets once every 2 years, unequally apportioned districts, unequally funded-schools, the lowest paid teachers, a regressive tax system, some of the most conservative schools and cities, AND so many laws against contributions to politicians and campaigns it's not even funny. The laws of Texas were created to keep the government as powerless as possible while creating the most pain-staking way of getting old laws changed. Our finances are pretty much the most retarded ever. I could go one forEVER about Texas government. It's pretty much screwed. We just need a new constitution and a few new politicians. Maybe some term caps would be needed as well to get rid of those pesky old-school incumbents.

Whew. I'm done ranting!!! :D Sorry, Dango! hahaha!

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

I'll have to say that the "short hair" policy has really helped to curb the high drop out rates, the high drug use, the high alcohol use or the high teen pregnancy rates in Texas schools.

Some of the coaches in Wink love it when they can put a boy in ISS for his hair touching his eyebrows. What I've noticed about all these coaches is that none of them have hair...ya know, because they're going bald or have gone bald. I'm thinking it's a bit of hair envy, but hey, that's just me.

I was just discussing the other day with a parent, that some teachers/administrators needed to get out of the business...ya know, retire. You can tell when these long timers' fuses are short, and that they just need to excuse themselves from the business of teaching our kids. Just go to the school when they have the parties and observe...some of the worst teacher behaviors exhibited! Rude, snippy, obnoxious, just down right mean spirited.

Bob Arthur said...

Boy am I relieved! I was worried sick that this boy would get away with wearing long hair in school, spreading dissention where ever he traveled; down the halls, in the cafeteria, on the bus and in the class room. Teachers just don't get enough pay to put up with this kind of communist inspired conspiracy fueled by parents who think it's OK for an innocent child to express his God given independence and rejoice the ever changing creative flow of life that this little boy has. What a silly bunch running the Mesquite ISD. Congratulations. You look absolutely rediculous.

seriously... said...

So that explains it "long hair" leads to sex, drugs, and gangs. Now I'll just tell my girls everything will be okay once they cut off their hair [being sarcastic]. C'mon the length of a childs hai especially at that age has nothign to do with that. That mess is a result of many factors such as: a childs upbringing, poor self confidence level, no indivduality, etc. If they want to ban "long hair" be cause of that they might as well go one step further. Some people out their believe that those who shave their heads are "skinhead", drug dealer, more likely to get tattoos, etc.

If you're going to be as stupid as to go to one extreme end you might as well finish everyone off and go the other way. Afterall you're the same people that are trying to make the world look a certain way to your liking. I mean the last thing we need is for people to be indivduals