oh my god

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i had my hair dyed black n read cos i fancied a change. i went back to school and kicked outa school. oh my god :o

I may be rather literally "old school" here, but schools spend far too much time now working on ensuring students have high self-esteem rather than useful educations. This may have some Brave-New-World-esque utility in that happy, uncritical people that believe being able to work at Bendz with pink hair constitutes freedom, but I'd rather see people being taught to think and developing genuine character in school. If one must look superficially like everyone else during those teen years when the one's necessary compusion is to differentiate oneself and discover how to be an individual, then a person needs to find that something *inside*. Clothes don't make the man. Nor does two-tone hair.

There seems to be this notion that dying ones hair is rebellious, or trying to "stick out", "assert ones individuality" or something to that effect. That may have been the case 10 years ago, but the shock values of such demonstrations are completely ineffective when attempting to convey an anti-conformal message now a days.

If you were right, people with bright pink hair generally wouldn't have such a hard time finding a job at a bank.  Or the Post Office.  Or... (etc.)  For the most part, the world of gainful employment is a sea of mediocrity.  It's getting better though, but it's still pretty conservative.

A little lesson in dress code early on in life can (at the very least) teach the individual that not everyone on earth is going to like, accept, and be receptive to their choice of image.  The world isn't perfectly non-judgemental.  It's going to be a long time yet before people aren't shocked by us.  Look how long it took before the Hippies weren't such a big deal...

It's wonderful that you had such a liberal experience in school, but please consider the fact that you may be one of a rare breed in this sense.  Most institutions aren't so flexible (although I wish they were).  It's pointless to say "it shouldn't be like X, that's just awful" because it isn't helping the person who started this thread.  Yes, it's unfortunate, and yes, the rule may seem pretty stupid.  And no, we can't immediately change things for her.  But we can at least try to give her some advice and support on how to deal with it.  And no, of course we don't want her to sell her soul to The Man and lose her sense of individuality - we just don't want her to get kicked out of school.

I haven't directly insulted a single person or group. If people have taken it that way then that's their perception issue. As for getting off one's high horse, I suggest you take your own advice. You've done little to nothing to add anything even remotely useful to this entire conversation. And your last response and offhanded comments are far more insulting, and were meant to be insulting by their context alone.

I suggest you learn how to control these little outbursts, it certainly isn't making you seem as intelligent/mature as you want to appear to be. You're doing nothing more than making my point concerning maturity. 19 and can't even have a proper discussion, definately mature and intelligent....

Actually I'm not missing your point, or any others, at all Trixie. I completely understand what you're saying. I just don't agree with it. It probably has a lot to do with how my school experience was, but that's to be expected really. Since the things we learn as youth also assist in who we become and are today.

My entire point was/is if it works in certain schools then it should work in others. Saying all teens are immature isn't even remotely true. I know quite a few teens that are a LOT more mature than some people my own age.

I seriously don't see the logic in any of it for reasons detailed in one of my earlier posts.

If we were talking about 20+yrs ago Puck I'd tend to agree. Anyone that is even remotely bothered by anothers appearance has major issues of their own and should seek councelling. But then again, as I've stated before, we didn't have these troubles at my high school. We were all allowed to be who we were and the only thing the school ever took offence to was if one was violent towards others or caused problems in class. That is the only standard a school should have. If you're marks are great and you look alternative in some form, the problem isn't with that person. The problem lies in the imaturity of others who might not be as worldly as others and attempt to make others feel inferior in any way that they can. That is the problem. If a student is mature, has a great school record and keeps their grades up so what if they dress differently? It's the other people who might have issues with it that need to be put in line, not the supposed offender.

Discussed this with my better half last night and she had a very similar experience to midnight when she was in gr10 at Oak Bat High, here in Victoria. She used to wear a lot of crynolins (sp?) and various other alternative type styles. She also wore antique hats with her garb. Her school has no issue with the rest of her dress, but she was told the hat had to go. The principle used ettiquette as to why she couldn't wear the hat to school or in class. After a lengthy, respectful discussion she pointed out that women wearing hats indoors is in no way against the rules of ettiquette. In fact women can wear hats indoors if they please. Due to the fact that she was respectful and intelligent in their discussion that rule was removed from their dress code. That is a prime example of if you don't agree with something, fight against it and get it changed. Things don't get changed unless you challenge the rules.

I think this is so very interesting!

Wish I could make some clear and good arguments!

/Dr Erik


Sorry for my spelling errors. I've only been here a month and a bit. Trying to learn to spell properly, but some English words are really difficult!

I thought for a while there that I was the only person who thought that despite one's personal preferences for their appearance that following the rules and the dress code set in place was the right thing to do.  Huzzah, I am not alone!

Nope, you're not. I've never been suspended or threatened with punishment for physically/outwardly expressing myself that I'm aware of. But that's because I learned early on in life that there's a time and a place for everything. Heck, my scout leader didn't even like it when I wore black nail polish to boyscout meetings. Would a raver wear flourescent multi-colored bracelets and a tank-top to a funeral? I should hope not.

While I do think that this particular situation does sound a little extreme, I fully support the notion that in order to succeed in society you have to spend a little time playing by other peoples' rules. I think people that use the "I am free to express myself, whether you like it or not" sort of defense are being needlessly defiant and a bit anarchistic. All they're doing is hurting their own reputation.

In high school I was a rather naive and idealistic person. I had this great notion that people should be able to just automatically accept me for my personality and who I am, and be able to look past what's on the outside. And in an ideal world, that's what would happen, but unforunately that's not how the world works. Your outward appearance is a reflection of your inner personality, and others are going to respond to that, be it a positive or negative response. (In my case, even some of my friends were alienated by the gradual change in my appearance. )

To me, this applies to work, school, church, the beach, the bar, or anywhere else you could possibly go. By all means, please express yourself through fashion, music and art. But if you want to be respected by others and taken seriously, sometimes you're going to have to put aside those forms of expression in certain venues and situations.

And ultimately, even if you did give in and wear the uniform, dye your hair all one color, strip your black nail-polish, get rid of all your jewellry, put away your corsets and pointy boots, and start wearing peacock blue polo-shirts and GAP khakis, that doesn't change who you are. Your personality isn't going to change based on your appearance. It's cliche, I realize, but "it's what's on the inside that counts".

And this is probably needlessly wordy and ranty, so I apologize for the length.

Fael, I feel that unity in school is very important. I went to a public school that had an inforced uniform,  and thatgave the bullies one less thing to tease others about. You aren't being told to stamp out your personality, you are being told that in the name of public peace you may have to sacrifice your personal style for 8 hours a day, 5 days week. I was fortunate enough to be at a school where once a year you were allowed to dye your hair any colour or shave it off(in the name of cancer reaserch).

Darkline, the school band, drama club et cetera, et cetera are there so that school kids CAN express them selves in a way that won't detract from learning. Because both band and drama are very educational experiences. Where as, given the oppertunity to dress in any way they want, high schoolers will do anything in their power to shock their class mates. I know I did it, how ever that was on my last day. Becasue high school is there to teach you what is and isn't appropriate in certain situations. Hell, can you imagine the chos it the local red neck decided to wear swaztikas(sp?) or White Power symbology to school?

Finaly, Midnight, trust me, it's not that bad, go a permanent solid red and get those wash out thingys to give your self black streaks or what ever over teh weekends.

ok. I want to respond to so many posts, I'm going to open up a notepad...

Valerian: By my logic, replacing "hair colour" with "dead spotted owl" doesn't work.

That's why I chose culturally specific objects pertaining to hair. Sacred or not; the degree to which cultural signs are perceived by it's members should not be used as a discriminating factor when compiling a dress code. I'm speaking strictly from a Canadian point of view here, as I realize schools in England don't observe multicultural values in the same way.

There seems to be this notion that dying ones hair is rebellious, or trying to "stick out", "assert ones individuality" or something to that effect. That may have been the case 10 years ago, but the shock values of such demonstrations are completely ineffective when attempting to convey an anti-conformal message now a days. It is generally observed that one chooses to manipulate his/her image based on a personal aesthetic, one that has a broader cultural context, which other individuals should be expected to tolerate. Regardless of which cultural or economic background one comes from. There should be a level of tolerance in classrooms to allow for variations, so as to avoid the vapid effects of homogenization. I do however, agree with you that certain value judgments must be made on the part of the individual as to which is more important [The Assertion of ones Identity, or Graduation.] Nevertheless, it is sad how the social infrastructure of school's should facilitate such decision-making on the part of the individual in the first place.    

SwoopGuy: Again, let me state that I don't believe that colouring ones hair is a useful way for someone to "explore" their identity. You most likely won't come to any revelations about who you are because it's green and not black. I find that colouring ones hair is by now part of an ingrained aesthetic, one that has developed over years of seeing other people with coloured hair, and the emergence of a personal preference for such a look. Like wearing black, it has more to do with finding each other, than finding oneself. Equally, I don't think middle class kids wear blue jeans to explore who they are. They simply have seen it enough times and prefer to dress as such, as a shift in values has occurred from confrontational to communal and more recently, due to new technologies and media has reached a state of "trans-tribalism" One where you don't have to interact with anyone outside your interests. We are in a state of cultural insular myopia, and having education institutions, enforce skewed notions of what is acceptable perpetuates the further bottlenecking of reality.

You know, being dead serious here, if you came to class dressed like you are in the picture, I would find it the most normal thing in the world, where as, if you came to class in a puffy jacket with fur on the hood, I'd probably do a double take, simply because I'm not used to seeing the later on a daily basis. All the media I ingest, all the books I read, all the stores, friends and music I interact with, has made that "freaky" look the norm. With all that said, I think there is a huge difference between coming to class with your hair dyed, and thigh high "f**k me" boots. Just like there's a difference between putting "hello kitty" hair clips in your hair, and dressing like a geisha. In either case getting suspended for a week because you dyed your hair, or put it in a bun, or shaved it on the sides or crimped it is ABSURD all caps baby. I'd raise hell.

Puck: I wasn't aware that French public schools were like that. Just a thought though... I can understand why unity is necessary say, in the military, but why in an educational institution. Would not, the diversity of ideas be more fertile to the longevity of a culture? or are we to believe that the ideas of the students are so inferior, that they could never contribute to the knowledge already accquired by the institution? Are the French learning to think, or just learning to listen a-la-Rote Memory?

Darkline: It's good to hear I'm not the only one mumbling to the white wall. (although I'm used to it) ;)

...and Midnight, all I can say is never forget who you are, or what you like, 'cause by grade 12 it'll be a foggy memory, and you'll have every reason in your head, why you should just forget it.

The complete lack of logic is rather frightening. So it's not ok to look different because someone else might look at you more than they actually look at their work? So we'll just remove that which isn't deemed normal (a relative term) to reduce the effect? So we should just have sterile, non-interesting schools so nobody has any distractions whatsoever. Let's not place special needs children in school either since their behaviors might also detract from the learning environment. Just an FYI, I have a spec needs 13yr old (autism), so the latter is something I have dealt with more than a few times in my life as a parent.

/sarcasm on

Sorry drama club kids, but the production for this semester, and any following, are going to be discontinued since you might even be slightly distracted by your future performance(s). Same goes for you in the school band. You might start thinking about your next performance and that will distract your ability to actually do your work.

/sarcasm off

Does the above sound rather far fetched? It's no different than the decline of students rights over the last 20yrs or so, and is being advocated by some who have responded here. I'm not going to retract a single statement/sentiment in any of my previous posts. Reading a few studies does not make a teacher a psychologist/psychiatrist and making decissions based on that type of information is up to those professionals to make. Not a teacher/principal and certainly not someone who was voted onto a school board. I'd love to read a single independant study that shows students do better when they're not allowed to be themselves.

As for Swoops last post. No I wouldn't be distracted by either scenarios you describe, especially in a learning environment. That is the difference between being mature and not so mature. Something the education system has done little to nothing to imbue in it's students. And from just the few posts here, it seems that the trend will continue. How wonderful...

I'm definately more than glad that I went to school when/where I did and we were allowed to be who we were. If I was forced to be subjected to the public school system now, I'm sure the outcome would have been a lot different.

In closing I'll just say this. As long as people allow themselves to be treated as sheep being readied for slaughter, the concerns people have voiced in this thread will continue and get worse. You don't teach youth how to be more empathetic to others by showing no empathy to them. You get what we have now. Higher youth criminal offences, higher drug abuse and a whole host of other sociological problems that go along with it. All you have to do is look at the trends in the last 20yrs to see that. And part of that is, as I stated earlier, the decline of students rights especially when it comes to personal fashion.

(you can use the "modify" button to edit your posts for typos)

I'm glad to hear though it was only a suspension and not expulsion - I guess my school was a lot more strict.  Regardless, the whole situation is unpleasant and I'm sure your parents aren't exactly impressed either.  But as silly as it sounds, it really is best just to go with the flow for now.  When school is out over the summer you could always re-colour it, and then dye it plain again when you return in the autumn.  It's a silly rule to be sure (banning certiain hair colours), but a line has to be drawn somewhere so it can't be misinterpreted.  For example, if the school doesn't allow people to show up wearing micro-mini skirts, they will probably draw the line at ANY skirts that go above the knee...

yep  i live in england and i have be suspended for a week beacuse of me hair teacher said that i have to dye it all red or all black! grrrrrrrrrrr!

Fael, in French public schools all outward signs of religion are not allowed. A uniform is a uniform, implying that all people wearing it are unified, or at least look the same.

Let's try a couple of other points of view here...

It's been said that this whole business limits ones ability to express themselves and explore their identity.  Well, let's just say I'm a student who identifies with being a juggler and wish to express myself through juggling.  So I show up to class and start juggling knives, torches and chainsaws.  Don't you tell me I can't,  'cause you'd be opressing my right to express myself freely.  Thing is, we all know that this is not going to be very conducive to the average history lesson.  Teachers who are obliged to deliver set material should not have to compete for studets' attention.

Let's put the shoe on the other foot.  I'm your teacher.  What if I showed up for class like this:


Or better still, what if I showed up to teach class wearing a fishnet shirt, pvc corset, black satin briefs, a garter belt and thigh high "f**k me" boots?  You know, the shiny black ones with the pointy toes and 8" heels.  How's that lesson going to go?  Are you sure you will be able to focus on the cartisian co-ordinate plane?  Bear in mind that I personally might not look all that attractive in the outfit described.  Especially with my hairy, skinny legs.  Now that I've scarred your minds, rest easy, because I don't do this.  If I did I would be sent home, very likely fired, and possibly lose my licence. 

Dress codes exist all around us and they exist for a reason.  They are there to facilitate the activities taking place in the given location.  If you can't abide by the code, you needn't be present.  "But I have to go to school, it's the law."  Wrong.  You have to be schooled, you do not have to attend a school.  You could elect to be home schooled, where you can choose to wear anything you like (diapers if you so wish). 

Oh, and when Midnight said she'd been kicked out of school, I'm willing to bet it meant that she was sent home for the day - not expelled.  I could be wrong, but that's how I read it.  This is a common practice in uniform schools.  I was sent home often enough for not having my tie (until I started to keep a spare in my locker).  Most students would be aware of this practice.  Part of the reason being, if they continued to be present in their "code violating condition," many students would raise their voices with an echo of "how come they get to...?" causing further distraction from learning.

Probably my last statement on the issue, unless someone questions me directly requesting a reply.

Is coloured dye a recognized sacred object or required orthodox dress for religious purposes?  No.  Neither is wearing pointy buckle boots.  Or pink socks.  Or false eyelashes.  Or a bra.  Maybe someday, but not today.

By your logic, we could even replace "hair colour" with "dead spotted owl" and get the animal conservationists and vegans in on this too!  But I'd rather not substitute the issue for something it isn't.

I think you may be getting a bit carried away here, but I do see your point.  There is something to be said about freedom of expression.  However there is also something to be said for "when in Rome, do as the Romans do..."  At the very least, going along with the school rules for a year or two might make for a lot less hassles.  When you're a teenager, a year or two seems an awfully long time.  But compare that to the 60-odd years plus they're likely to be alive and it doesn't seem so long or such a big thing to ask.

I was threatened with expulsion once too, over a lapel pin that had the word "f***" on it.  I decided that finishing school so I could get the heck out and do whatever I wanted that much sooner was a better option than arguing with the principal and getting thrown out over something as trivial as an inch-wide metal badge, which I was not required to wear for any reason other than my own pleasure.  Maybe in the larger scheme of things (i.e. freedom of expression) I was wrong to stop wearing the pin, but I did graduate rather peacefully, and on schedule.

Would it also be exceptable to ask a student to remove his turban and cut his hair because it is distracting to the class? I mean after all you're here to learn, not worship your elephant god, right...

In fact, just for fun, re-read this whole thread and replace the word "coloured hair" with "turban".

kinda racist, no?

Would it also be exceptable to ask a student to remove the colour dye and cut his hair becuase it is distracting to the class? I mean after all you're here to learn, not dance and play vampire, right... 

Simple.  You enter someone's house and they ask you to take off your shoes because they don't want people wearing shoes in their house.  If you want to be there, you respect their rules, or get out.  Some schools have some pretty interesting definitions of dress code, but honestly, it comes down to a question of respect.  You either respect the rules or you don't.  If you don't, you face the consequences.  Life is about making choices.  In some cases, our choices are limited because we are still children and our parents are responsible for making certain ones for us (i.e. what school we attend).  However we always have choices within them as to how to deal with it.

On a personal note, I believe getting kicked out of school without first being given a confrontation and an opportunity to make a change in appearance in order to conform with the school rules extremely harsh, unprofessional, and borderline absurd.

I knew it was only a matter of time before you chimed in and set things right with this conversation.

Well, to me it seems like hemostly defended his trade, which is quite ok by me.

But the issue? Not really. I am a teacher my self, albeit at a higher level, where none of this has any relevance what so ever. But it still interests me, as I have both lived in countries where detailed rules about what to wear and how to look are commonplace, and other where it would be unthinkable. I am also a very strong democrat, and by concidering the traditional background of school uniforms and rules conformal rules it is quite clear that is has very little to do with teaching and learning.

It comes down to tradition. Mostly military tradition.

All of us who have been in the armed forces know the importance of instantly obeying order, without hesitation and question. And this is achieved in one simple way. -Stripping of the personal traits. Uniform apperance, in form of crew cuts and uniforms. (Well, there are a lot of screaming and other stuff as well, but mostly it is the stripping of the personality.)

-And where does the school uniform originate and where are they common (I know this is an issue of hair, but you cannot have rules about hair colour if you don't have rules about clothing)?

In the western world it originates in English (and to some extent French) upper class private schools, which in practice were military schools, as well as s in religious schools in the catholic Italy and Spain, who originated in the monasteries. Feudal Japan, which still is an extremely hierarchial society, also has a strong tradition of school uniforms, as had the Chinese empire and now the communist China.

None of these are famed for their beliefs in  free thinking and questioning.

As the English colonists moved out, to Australia, US, Canada, NZ, where the uniform still are common, they took this tradition with them. As many influential settlers were evangelical christians, the uniforms suited their beliefs of moral and faith.

Because the military and the religion would be nothing, nothing - nothing at all - without blind faith and obediance.

So for me this is all a question of democracy and a free, open mind. Nothing about the benefit of the children or their ability to learn. Because that is not where it originated, and that is not why it still remains.

There are a lot of advantages of having strict rules in school - and there should be a lot of them! But if red and black hear is a desturbance - what would an arab, a homosexual, a european - a girl!!! - be in a school where any of these are the minority? We would have to live in a society where everyone are white, christian men. (-Hey! didn't we do that just a few decades back?!) And by forbidding black and red hair, are we not only treating the symptom, not the cause? Or even worse - are we not only trying to hide that there might be a deeper problem somewhere? A troubled child in need of help, perhaps?

I don't know. These are just my personal feelings, based on my experience. Not much on actual facts, I'm afraid. I am also not very coherent


It would be very interesting if, for example, Swoop (if he's not bored already, which I would guess) could shed some light on scientific proofs or indications that black-and-red hair would cause children, who otherweise live a healthy and happy life, not to learn as effective as they should have.

But I won't say any more on the subject.

It's very interesting, though. Especially in a subculture such as the goth community! Fascinating. I'd love to sit down and discuss it some day.

Thank you and ehh... sorry!

Actually no I don't think they have the right to decide that. In a private school sure, in a public school no. These rules and regulations are in no way psychologically founded or backed. Anyone can go to college for 4 years to learn how to teach, that doesn't make them psychologists or psychiatrists or even remotely empathetic to what youth go through. .

Now you've pissed me off. 

I don't know everything about how every teacher is trained everywhere in the world, but MY teacher training programme required (that means you had to do it) training in the psychological and socialogical aspects of education and learning.  Being trained to teach high school, my training further focused on the needs of adolescents, and I probably know a far sight more about the brain development and chemistry of teenagers than the average joe.  We read papers, examined case studies, and practiced theories.  We consulted with respected eductional psychologists and socialogists.  Once entering the field, the training doesn't end.  We are mentored and regualarly attend professional development seminars/workshops.  We constantly strive to better understand the avenues of learning, and what makes those avenues most easily travelled.  Teachers are experts in learning. 

Not to mention, teachers, principals, educational psychologists, and guidance councillors all contribute in the design that comprises a school.  All of this is done with the goal of ensuring students learn.  No-one does it alone, and to omit anyone from the loop would be foolish.

As to empathy for what teenagers are going through, you'd be awfully surprised how much a teacher's heart can bleed for their students.

And finally, as far as most schools are concerned, teachers don't make policy regarding dress codes/uniforms/whatever; school board trustees and parents do.  So if you're giving your teacher grief about what colthing/hair/piercings are aloud at school, you're barking up the wrong tree.

Now on a more personal note, I don't know what you do for a living, but I'd make damn sure I knew something significant about it before I started spouting off how unqualified you are at doing your part there.

I know of a few countries where it is, but is this country really one of them?

And I did not particulary like my school uniform when I was forced to wear one.

If I remember correctly, Midnight is living in England.  And if English schools are like New Zealand ones (and I expect they are in this regard), a remarkable few of them don't have uniform and appearance codes.  If you're having difficulty with the concept of dress codes at school, try this...

Lawyers work in law offices, nurses work in hospitals, auto mechanics work in garages, and students work in schools.  Being a student is a job.  Probably one of the most important jobs one will ever have.  Whenever applying for a different job, it's considered a good idea to include "training" in your CV.  It shows previous experience, just like any other job.  Bearing that in mind, many of us have accepted the need for what we call "Corp Goth."  This is a manner of dress that still has many gothic tones to it, but is a bit more subdued than what one might wear to Sin City.  We do this because work is a place for work.  Work is not a place to showcase your personal views on fashion and politics (unless you are a fashion designer or a politician).  Doctors practice medicine, construction workers make buildings, and students study.  All of them should dress and behave in a manner that makes it as easy as possible for those around them to achieve the common goal of that endeavor.  We all know how awe inspiring spikey green and purple hair can be, and we know that it is far more exciting that pythagorean therum, but at school we need to focus on Pythagerus and his wacky ideas about the triangle.  Being distracted by Biffo the Clown doesn't exactly help anyone get their learning done.

If you can get the kind of job that welcomes an austentatious appearance, bully for you, but until then we have to tow the line when it comes to work (or in this case - study).

Actually no I don't think they have the right to decide that. In a private school sure, in a public school no. These rules and regulations are in no way psychologically founded or backed. Anyone can go to college for 4 years to learn how to teach, that doesn't make them psychologists or psychiatrists or even remotely empathetic to what youth go through. Someone who is psychologically fragile is not going to be made to feel better by not allowing them to be themselves. All that causes is more internal turmoil in regards to the self and the battle that youth go through in attempting to find out where they 'fit' and who they are and want to be.

Prime example is the high school I went to in Regina. Punks hung out with Goths, Goths hung out with browners, browners hung out with rockers. There were rarely fights other than the ones the jocks picked. Every other social class/group in that school associated with each other. It created an incredible learning experience since you weren't forced to fit some imaginary acceptible template. The loss of that pressure alone allows you to actually focus more on whet you're there to do which is learn. Other schools back home were complete messes where if you didn't fit into the template of the majority you were chastised and condemed, and in worse case scenarios had the crap beaten out of you. As well, rather than history being taught in social studies, we actually learned sociology. That alone gives youth the ability to understand others and how they fit in the world in general.

All of us had to deal with rules we disliked when we were young, but it didn't kill us, did it?

Depends on what your value system is like I guess. I've always fought against anything that allowed even a remote possibility of furthering any type of bigotry even in my youth. To just sit back and let people tell you who you can and can't be only allows the reinforcement to kids/teens that being who they are is wrong if they don't fit into an imaginary template. This also furthers one of the concerns you had in a previous post in regards to being singled out and made fun of or just a target for aggression. How is that ever going to change unless kids/teens are allowed to be who they are and allow their peers to actually get to know them regardless of what they look like?

Tossing someone out of school for their hair color is no better, or different, than segregation was back in the day. It's discrimination, plain and simple. By allowing these archaic rules to stay entrenched in a learning environment will only breed more distrust of anything considered not 'mainstream'. A learning environment should be more than just a place to go and learn the 3 r's. It should also be a place where people of differing values and ideologies can sit and discuss their differences and similarities. Not allowing this basic right only breeds more distrust and bigotry. And that is not what a school is for and does not teach children/teens how to be empathetic to someone who's different.

No rules are written in stone. That is why there are such things as politics and elections.

Opressing and unjust rules should be fought in the appropriate manner, by debate and discussion.

Or by action allowed and accepted within the society, such as changing to another school - a school that teaches the equal value of all human beings.

Even those with red and black hair.

I would never accept a school with rules like that, I wouldn't stay in it, and I wouldn't let my children go to it.

The question is - why are not sertain things allowed? Symbols of hate, for example (swastica etc) are not allowed, because they offend and hurt people, and a lot of people don't understand their real meaning.

-But clothing and hair colour?

There are no real justifications for it, apart from conformity. And is that the goal of the school? To teach conformity and blind obedience? I know of a few countries where it is, but is this country really one of them?

That are questions the the schools and the politicians must answer.

And we must always ask them.

But then again, I am just an old liberal commie who believes in the greatness of humanity (very ungoth!) and the freedom of the mind. And I did not particulary like my school uniform when I was forced to wear one.

Yes, behaviur is an issue, not apperance.

That kind of rules are not part of an open and democratic society.

It is a matter that should be settled between the parents and the children. The school should be observant of the child, as sudden change in apperance can be a warning sign that something is wrong. The school should keep an active dialog with both the parents and the child, to make sure that the children are treated well, both at home and at school. By opressing the childrens' right of expressing them selves, the school will only encourage the behavior they want to prevent. Which I guess is drug abuse, violence and anti-social behaviour (which somehow is associated with goth, metal and punk... Wonder why...?).

That's my beliefs, anyway.

But I might be wrong. Perhaps red and black hair makes you smoke crack and shoot people?

Glad I could be who I wanted when I was in high school (80's). None of these asinine rules. I can't even count how many colors my hair was in a single semester. I say fight it. Your hair shouldn't even be an issue, your grades should.

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