Imagine this scenario: You get pulled out of class midday to be told that you are indefinitely suspended from school until further notice. Later on, you are told that you are prohibited from coming back to class because you violated school dress code – your hair is too long. Furthermore, you are a 4-year-old boy.
After weeks of private tutoring, seclusion from classmates and being banned from the classroom during the ABCs, nap time or Play-Doh fun, Taylor Pugh was finally admitted back to his pre-K class at Floyd Elementary School in Mesquite.
His admittance pass? Two French braids that the school board found acceptable for both the dress code and the little boy.
The Mesquite school board defined its hair length dress code for boys to extend no longer than the bottom of the earlobes or over the collar of a dress shirt and must be kept out of the eyes. A ponytail would not suffice.
In response, Pugh’s parents (both decked out in tattoo arm sleeves and gauged ears) refused to cut their son’s hair, claiming that he loved his long hair and that they would not take away his individualism by making him conform to the school’s opinion of what is appropriate for school and what is not.
Nothing makes you more individual than being the only 4-year-old boy in school going through paparazzi spurts and court dates.
It is difficult to find a good guy versus bad guy scenario when you just cannot help hating both sides, all the while feeling sorry for this poor kid.
On one side, according to the Dallas Morning News, Floyd Elementary School had been notorious for a strict dress code and harsh punishments for violation. Grooming and appearance takes on vital importance later in life for occasions such as collegiate events, job interviews and internships, but for pre-kindergarten children, simply preventing them from eating glue should be enough for a thumbs up at the end of the day.
On the other side, Pugh’s parents have taken a silly situation and turned it into a legal uproar, putting him through hours of court deliberation and further isolation from the very thing that he is eager to get back to. Maybe there is some unfairness to the rule and room for disagreement, but if they are teaching their son anything, it is to fight against every rule and pay thousands of dollars for lawsuits instead of a $15 haircut.
“The school district is more concerned about his hair than his education,” said Taylor’s father, Delton Pugh.
The fact is both sides are more concerned about his hair rather than his education. It is villain versus villain, yet the only one suffering is the good guy who just wants to go back to class and see his friends.
To clear the air and make everyone happy for the time being, Taylor’s hair will remain in pigtail style French braids. “Thanks, Mom and Dad, for the public embarrassment and dissolved college fund for the unnecessary lawsuits to prove that being stubborn and ignorant not only may win you press coverage but also turn manhood into a Princess Leia look-alike.”
Kerri Feczko is a sophomore broadcast journalism and political science major from Flower Mound.