The costume code has become a rule in workplaces and schools, although the level of enforcement varies. But because a school does not have a school uniform, it does not mean that everyone can wear whatever they want. Children are removed from the class if they wear clothes, jewelery or hairstyles that do not comply with the costume code.
This happens equally in private and public schools. And as some students and parents know, no one is exempt. A mother from Texas, Jessica Oates, has recently learned this in a bad way. Jessica’s 4-year-old son, Jabez, is not allowed to return to school unless he cuts off his long hair. The mother told Inside Edition that he never had a haircut and feels that the school has been targeting him unfairly. On the first day of school, she was told that an official document was required to make an exception to the long hair rule.
On the second day, the principal was informed that the school would not accept any application for an exemption, as the district’s primary school does not recognize cultural or religious exclusions for long hair in boys. On the third day, Jessica tried to send Jabez to school with a thin tress, but her son was not allowed to attend classes.
Confused by what’s going on, the boy has been staying at home since then as his mother battles the school community. According to the costume school code for infants up to the fifth grade, boys are not allowed to have hair that goes beyond their brows, ear lobes or shirt collar. Neither are hooks allowed for boys.
Jabez sees his hair as part of his identity and does not want to cut it off. In addition to his long hair love he has since his birth, Jabez’s family has an Indian background, seeing hair as a symbol of power. Jessica believes the school’s hair policy is sexist, as girls have to keep up with a certain length, like boys. She also states that he is entitled to public education regardless of how his hair looks.
In response to the publicity that took the matter, Hill Barbers School District issued the following statement:
“Mrs Oates has the right to place her child in a school that meets her personal expectations of the patterns of appearance. There are procedures to deal with policy disagreements if Mrs Oates wishes to train her son at Barbers Hill ISD School. But we would accept legitimate criticism if we reduced our aspirations or long-term policies simply to satisfy a proportion of students. ”