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Should schools have the right to disipline children for dressing in accordance to their religious beliefs?

Recently a Native American boy was suspended from his Public school because of the length of his hair.  Which raises the question, where is the line? I understand that some schools need dress codes to help control things like gang violence, but should public schools have the ability to deny a student their right to freely practice their religion?

Lots of religious groups have "appearance standards" or even temporary dress requirements through certain times of the year. For example, some Christian groups require women to wear long skirts. Jewish groups can require men to wear "skull caps" during "High Holiday" days. Native American beliefs can require long hair or specific jewelry. Muslim girls could be expected to wear head scarves. And even some Pagans wear blessed jewelry as a form devotion to their God/Goddess... And I'm sure there are more examples out there.

So should Public schools have the ability to force students to adhere to dress codes which go against their beliefs? And where should the line be drawn as to what is okay and what's not?

Answer Question

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 9:51 AM on Apr. 2, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (36)
  • No. I don't see anything wrong with long hair or long skirts. What is the school suggesting? That people with long hair or long skirts are terrorists of some sort?

    Answer by Renee3K at 9:54 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • I see nothing wrong with it, unless what they are wearing is directly affecting the ethos of the school or hurting people then I think it is fine. How does the length of someone's hair mean anything? It really confuses me, I can't believe people are trying to control the length of somebody's hair, it sickens me.

    Answer by kayalouise at 9:57 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • That's beyond crazy! Def. NOT!!!!!!!! What is wrong with long hair? It's okay for a woman to have long hair, but not a male? There were a ton of females at my high school who wore skirts because of there religion, so they should have gotten suspended for not wearing jeans like the rest of the girls? NO! The school system these days are so out of wack!!!!!!!!!!!

    Answer by knicole0708 at 10:00 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • As long as how they dress doesn't mask their identity or hide their face I see no problem. cover your bits and don't have your pants falling off your ass and all is well.

    Answer by zoejains_momma at 10:01 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • No, they shouldn't. America was founded on the principal of freedom of religion. To discipline a child for dressing according to their religion is going against what America stands for.


    Answer by KateShesGreat3 at 10:01 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • Short hair is actually a requirement of many schools now for boys. I never really got it. They impose alot of "dress code standards" across the board. Long hair is from back when long haired boys were trouble makers lol. It isnt always the case now though. Just like no one can have hair color other then natural. I think thats stupid too. Alot of young girls get pink or purple streaks in the summer, and some like them for school. They arent punk rockers or gang bangers but arent allowed either.

    Answer by gemgem at 10:01 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • This particular school has a required hair length for boys built in to their dress code. So they first gave warnings and then finally expelled the young man for breaking dress code.

    When I was in HS all students were required to wear swim suits for swim class and were not permitted to wear a tee-shirt over it. And gym class required shorts. Now, while this wasn't an issue for anyone I knew, if you didn't pass gym and swim you couldn't graduate. So I see how these dress requirements could interfere with the "long skirts" that some groups are meant to wear.

    I myself was asked to remove religious jewelry which was considered "unacceptable" on campus. Which for me wasn't an issue since I wasn't allowed to wear it at home either. But if I had been someone who wore devotional jewelry, I feel it would have been a violation of rights...

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 10:03 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • Under the law the schools MUST comply with the dress code of a religious belief. Like if a girl wears a scarf over her hair for example.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 10:04 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • only if it imposes on other students in a negative fashion (safety issues, as a pp stated would be a prime example).

    Answer by dullscissors at 10:04 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • Just a quick question: Does "devotional jewelry" mean something like a rosary? (I don't use devotional jewelry so I don't know what it is.)

    Answer by tinamatt at 10:05 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

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