MAGNOLIA – At Magnolia ISD, all students have the right to choose whether to wear a mask, but some students don’t have the right to choose how long their hair is. That’s according to a district policy, that many parents and students are now speaking out against.
“I am the proud mother of a non-binary fifth-grade student. Today is day five of sitting in ISS,” said a woman who spoke at Monday’s Magnolia ISD School Board meeting.
Parents and students are saying the policy is the opposite of their values.
“I mean, it feels dehumanizing to have a school, a government entity force me to cut my hair and meet their expectations of appearances,” said Daniel Hoosier, a high school student.
Before cutting his hair, Hoosier was one of several boys placed in in-school suspension as a punishment.
“I mean, I hardly got any work done that whole day,” Hoosier said.
Fellow high schooler Tristan Berger says he won’t conform, despite the repercussions.
“I feel like I’m being discriminated against. I’ve actually dropped my AP physics class because I can’t attend the meetings they were doing during lunch because I was in in-school suspension. I’ve also lost hours of band practice,” Berger said.
He says it’s all because of something many says has nothing to do with school at all.
“It’s hair. People have the right to have hair,” said Berger’s father.
The dress code also prohibits boys from wearing earrings and dying their hair an unnatural color.
People upset with the policy hope board members deliberate and change the rules at the next school board meeting.
Magnolia ISD issued the following statement regarding the policy:
“Magnolia ISD has used a dress code that sets different standards for boys and girls for many years. For example, hair length for boys must be no longer than the bottom of the collar. This has been approved by the Texas courts and continues to be used by roughly half the districts in the state of Texas. The differentiated dress and grooming standards do not violate Title IX and are included in the student handbook each year. Magnolia ISD’s approach to the dress code reflects the values of our community at large.”