Posted at: 02/03/2014 10:42 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4
A sixth-grade boy at Los Lunas Elementary School has been told he can’t return to school until he changes his hairstyle.
11-year-old Marcus Chavez is like most kids his age, wanting to play sports and fit in with his peers. While getting his hair cut Sunday afternoon, he noticed the barber creating designs in the hair of other boy in the salon.
"I said, ‘Oh that's cool I want to get one,’" Marcus told KOB Eyewitness News 4. He asked the barber to design tribal art into his hair with a razor.
Marcus said nearly a half a school day passed at school the next day before an administrator saw the hair design. According to Marcus’ mother Grace Chavez, the principal called her to let her know Marcus wouldn’t be welcomed back at school until the design was gone.
“I told the principal that this haircut should not keep him from learning,” Grace Chavez said.
When KOB contacted district officials to discuss the matter, the district’s superintendent cited a policy that Marcus had allegedly violated.
The policy in the Los Lunas Elementary School handbook states: Hair—Unnatural colors and haircuts (Mohawks, spiked, rattails, etc.) are not allowed.
“A haircut with the design in it is not unnatural to me,” said Grace Chavez. Grace argues the hair policy is vague and doesn’t address razor designs.
Over the phone, the superintendent told KOB that the policy is in place so that hair styles don’t distract from the objective of learning.
“Everybody was just doing their work and nobody even looked at my hair until recess,” Marcus said. “Then they said ‘Oh that haircut looks cool!’”
Mrs. Chavez intends to send Marcus to school anyway and does not plan on shaving off the design. She says in two weeks, it will be grown out anyway.