Four-Year-Old in Hot Water Over Long Locks

Filed under: In The News

Taylor Pugh, 4, of Balch Springs, Texas, may love his long hair, but Mesquite ISD officials do not. Credit: Mona Reeder, Dallas Morning News / MCT

Four-year-old, Pre-K student
Taylor Pugh found himself facing in-school suspension, isolated from his classmates and forced into private lessons after administrators felt that his long locks were in violation of the school district's strict dress code.

The student, affectionately known as "Tater Tot," sports tresses that go down his small neck and bangs that slightly cover his eyes. But instead of admiring Taylor's luscious mane, school administrators in
the Mesquite Independent School District in Texas said that his do of choice is too long. For more than a month, Taylor has been forced to attend private lessons with a teacher's aide at Floyd Elementary School because he is not allowed to attend class with the other Pre-K students in his class.

Administrators said that Taylor is in violation of the district's dress code, which states: "For boys: 'Hair is to be out of the eyes, not extend below the bottom of the earlobes and cut so that it does not extend over the collar (dress shirt).'"

Initially, the school did not want almost any interaction between "Tater Tot" and the other students, wanting him to eat lunch in an outside classroom before attending his private lessons. But after Taylor's mother protested her son's isolation, the school permitted him to eat in the cafeteria, head to class for attendance and announcements, and
then make his way to the library to begin his private lessons.

Taylor's parents, who refuse to cut their son's hair, say that the school has yet to give them a legitimate reason to lob off their son's locks.

"The school cannot give us an honest reason why we should force him to cut his hair. He loves his hair," Taylor's father, Delton Pugh Jr. told The Dallas Morning News. "I'll move out of this school district before I'll force him to cut his hair."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.