A five-year-old boy in Springfield, Ohio was sent home last week because school district officials deemed his new Mohawk hairdo too cool for kindergarten.
WHIO-TV, the local CBS affiliate, has the story.
Keshia Castle explained that school officials banned her son, Ethan Clos, from Reid Elementary School until he gets rid of his Mohawk — a haircut in which both sides of the head are shaven or bald and there is a stripe of clearly longer hair running down the center.
Castle said that her son had been pleading to get the haircut, and she finally relented during spring break.
When Ethan returned to school, his new Mohawk received a great deal of attention from his classmates.
“They seen his hair like it was,” Castle explained to WHIO. “All the little kids were going over and feeling on it and everything.”
School district officials ruled that the haircut violated district policies because it was causing too much commotion in class.
“Our policy clearly states that any dress or grooming which is disruptive or distracting to the educational process is not acceptable. In this particular case, the student’s hairstyle did provide disruption to the classroom,” Gregg Morris, the school district superintendent, told WHIO.
Ethan’s family doesn’t like the school’s decision.
“He’s a five-year-old little boy who chose to wear his hair a certain way,” Castle told the CBS station.
“I could understand if it was colored, and if it stood up longer off of his head and everything else but I do not see nothing wrong with this,” added the boy’s grandmother, Joyce Wells.
Wells also argued that, in her view, a Mohawk is similar to a “fade” haircut — a style in which super-short hair on the sides tapers longer toward the top.
“If you look at the fade, there’s not much difference, except he’s bald on the sides,” she opined.
WHIO observes that Ethan’s suspension comes after a local volunteer high school football coach got Mohawk haircuts — and dyed the strip on top blond — on two separate occasions to inspire players to gridiron greatness.
Superintendent Morris distinguished the volunteer coach’s two Mohawks from Ethan’s Mohawk.
“One involved an extracurricular spirit initiative designed to motivate our kids in the football playoffs a year ago,” Morris said, according to WHIO. “Classrooms were not disrupted. The other poses a disruption to the learning environment as well as violates the student dress code.”
Castle said that Ethan will return to Reid Elementary on Monday with a run-of-the-mill shaved head.