MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Brickbat: Cutting It Close

Shaved headGregory Henry / Dreamstime.comFor Christmas, Niamh Baldwin, 14, shaved her hair off and donated it to the Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs for young girls who have lost their hair because of cancer. But when she returned to school from her break, officials at Mounts Bay Academy in Cornwall said her shaved head did not conform to school rules and placed her in isolation.

Photo Credit: Gregory Henry / Dreamstime.com

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Vernon Depner||

    If you attend a private school, you must abide by their rules. What's so hard to understand about that?

  • Rat on a train||

    If they give in on hair, what's next? Clothes? Jewelry? Before you know it they will look like pirates instead of students.

  • Adans smith||

    And I am free to call an ass an ass. The girl did something kind for others and was punished.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Gotta crack down on this punk rock stuff. Besides, she looks like a French Nazi collaborator.

  • ||

    If you attend a private school, you must abide by their rules. What's so hard to understand about that?

    OK, I'm not an English Major so can one (or a native Brit) please translate for me? Private Schools are public and, even if she weren't in school, this girl doesn't necessarily have a 'right to a haircut' anyway, right?

    Silly Brits.

  • PaulTheBeav||

    "If you attend a private school, you must abide by their rules. What's so hard to understand about that?"

    Yep. I'm not a fan of appearance codes which is why I wouldn't send kids to a school that had them. But if you do send your kids to a school with an appearance code, they have to follow it. The girl isn't being punished for doing a nice thing. I'm sure the school is rightfully applauding her for doing a nice thing. Doing something nice and being a good person doesn't mean you are above the rules that everyone else has to follow.

  • Cyto||

    I don't know if this is an example of outstanding bureaucrat-speak, extremely subtle ironic writing, or lazy journalism missing an opportunity:

    "Going forward, I will speak to Niamh's mother on Monday to try to resolve the situation to everyone's satisfaction so that Niamh can return to lessons as soon as possible.

    "It would be reasonable in the circumstances to suggest that Niamh wears a head scarf until her hair grows sufficiently, for example."

    On its website the academy says: "We're proud of our uniform and the sense of unity it brings. It also avoids parent/carers having to buy the latest fashionable clothing and many parents have told us that they appreciate the 'yes' and 'no' uniform table [on the website]."

    So.... if you follow the link to the "Yes and No" table covering their uniform code, you find this under the "no" column: No hats or scarves are allowed inside the building at any time.

    You know what you won't find? Anything about short hair.

  • Cyto||

    OK, I take back the last bit. It isn't in the no column. The "yes" column says boys can have hair as short as a number 2.. Nothing about short hair for girls.

  • Rat on a train||

    There allowed "ONE ring" to rule them all. Since the hair rule is the only rule that is gender specific, can boys wear skirts, tights, earrings and makeup?

  • Cyto||

    I had a little extra interest in this brickbat because my son grew his hair out in order to donate it. So he didn't cut it for a whole school year, and by this August it was well past his shoulders. The instructions for donation said to make tight pony tail and crop it off. No need to shave your head bald.

    So it was a bit confusing... the school kept going on and on about other ways to raise money for charity, but the specific donation to charity was her hair. You can't really donate your hair in ways other than cutting it. Although she didn't really need to buzz her head in order to donate her hair.

    Anyway, our experience was quite the opposite. Most people really liked our son's long hair... but it caused him a bit of trouble as a 4th grader since he looked a little bit girlish with all the long, flowing blond hair. There were even a couple of adults who razzed him about it - fondly, but nonetheless. Everyone was effusive with praise when he showed up for school the first day with a short haircut. He got a lot of positive attention for donating to "Locks of Love". And the girls who followed him around talking about his hair still follow him around. So nothing lost...

  • Conchfritters||

    You can't really donate your hair in ways other than cutting it.

    I looked into this a couple years ago, and there are places that will pay up to $100 per inch (depending on the quality, if the hair has been damaged or not), and a minimum of 10" is needed. Good way to begin saving for college if you are a 5 year old girl.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Fight the real enemy.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Their real crime is that this proves they're Alien 3 fans.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "...placed her in isolation."
    Sounds like jail.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Sounds like where you go when you behave badly in jail.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    That caught my attention as well- is her haircut contagious? I mean wtf "isolation".

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Silly school officials.

  • crufus||

    They're just teaching her to conform to arbitrary rules. Exactly what schools are for.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online