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Ohio school suspends boy over mohawk hairstyle

By Chris V. Thangham     Feb 27, 2008 in Crime
A Cleveland charter school sent a 6-year-old kindergarten student with a Mohawk hairstyle, back home. They gave warnings twice to his parents who sent him back to school a third time with the same hairstyle.
Michelle Barile, is the mother of the suspended student, Bryan Ruda. She said there is nothing in the Parma Community School handbook that prohibits a mohawk haircut. Bryan was found with a freshly spiked mohawk and the administrators sent him home saying it would be a distraction to other students.
She told the Associated Press:
I understand they have a dress code. I understand he has a uniform. But this is total discrimination…They can't tell me how I can cut his hair."
According to the school, their administrator first warned Barile last fall that the haircut was not acceptable. But later Barile didn’t comply and sent her son back to school with the same mohawk haircut. The school then gave her a second warning.
Principal Linda Geyer talked to the Associate Press and said:
Mohawks violate the school's policy on being properly groomed. Also, the school district's dress code allows school officials to forbid anything that interferes with the conduct of education.
Geyer said Ruda came to school last week with a fresh-spiked mohawk haircut and it became a distraction to the other students. They called Barile on Friday telling her to pick Roda up from school. She said they gave his mother enough warnings before and were patient but she was not complying with their requests.
Barile is not willing to give up and is planning to send her boy to another school with the same style of haircut. She said changing the hairstyle is not an option. She said her son really likes that hairstyle and it doesn't matter what other people think.
"When people hear Mohawk, they think it's long, it's spiked, it's crazy looking, and it's really not."
Do you agree with the school’s decision to suspend this 6-year-old boy for his hairstyle?
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