Lots of little girls play with their hair, but one Milwaukee first grader experienced a harsh punishment for doing so. LaMya Cammon, a 7-year-old at Congress Elementary School, said that her teacher snipped off one of her braids when she wouldn't stop playing with them in class. The girl's mother, Helen Cunningham, isn't happy with the teacher, asking, "Why would we want someone like that teaching our kids?" LaMya has been moved to another class, and police gave the teacher a $175 ticket for disorderly conduct.
But that isn't the only hair-based drama to unfold for students in the past month. To find out about a child who's too young for kindergarten but not too young for a suspension,
Four-year-old Taylor Pugh may be kicked out of pre-Kindergarten today due to his hair, which reaches his shirt collar. Long hair is forbidden by his Dallas-area public school's dress code, but his family points to its Native American heritage as one reason that Taylor wears his hair longer. Right now, the boy is isolated in an in-school suspension that allows him to take classes away from other students. Today, he may be kicked out of school completely.
Both of these stories depress me because they didn't need to happen. Couldn't LaMya's teacher have called her mother to discuss the distracting behavior or disciplined the girl in a different way? Cutting a girl's hair like that is wrong on so many levels. And I don't understand the logic of denying a little boy his education simply because his hair isn't cut more conservatively. But that's just me. If you were the parents or teachers of these kids, how would you handle these situations?