Our Kids' Hair Isn't Safe in School

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We send our kids to school every day, hoping that they'll be able to learn and prosper in a safe, nurturing environment. Of course, there's always the threat of bullying from classmates--but these days, parents should be more concerned about protecting their children's hair from their teachers! Lately, elementary school teachers have been taking controversial measures to "groom" their students' hair. Back in December, we reported that a Milwaukee teacher chopped off 7-year-old Lamya Cammon's braids when the first-grader kept playing with her hair (the Congress Elementary School teacher was fined $175, but Cammon was moved to a different class). In Columbia, Tennessee, fourth-grade twins Jorden and Jacen Edwards were suspended from Randolph Howell Elementary school for wearing shaved parts in their hair. The school told the boys' father that their parts were considered gang signs, and that their heads "need to be shaved before we allow them back in school, or they will stay in suspension until their hair grows back." Meanwhile, after Birmingham, Alabama elementary school principal Donna Mitchell warned her students not to shave slits in their eyebrows (yet another gang sign), she shaved off one of her student's brows when he ignored her rule! Mitchell was was placed on five-day suspension, but then returned to her post. What is this all about? When did it become appropriate for teachers to alter our children's appearance however they see fit? And the school officials hardly seem to be punished for their transactions. Why isn't touching a child out of anger considered grounds for dismissal? And how much control should teachers have over how our boys and girls wear their hair or eyebrows, anyway? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!