To dye or not to dye...

Driving home from work today, I had on our local rock station and was listening to the afternoon radio show that 2 of the head "jocks" do on the weekdays.

They were talking about this story that was in the local newspaper - an 8th grade student dyed her hair blue the night before her 8th grade graduation and was told Tuesday morning during the rehearsal that she would not be able to walk across the stage and participate that night due to her wild hair color as the school/district policy states that "the dress code does not allow hair dye that will disrupt or distract from educational activities."

Honestly, that policy is nothing new - every school has a dress code that's spelled out in the student handbook.

By dying her hair blue she broke the policy, regardless of whether her parents allowed it or not (the article states getting her hair dyed was part of her graduation present) - the rules are rules, they choose to not follow the dress code guidelines.

They state she wasn't rebelling or anything and that she had dyed her hair previously before coming to this school district. Well boo-f'ing-hoo! That was that district, this is this district. If you didn't like it and thought it was a big deal, go to a different district or homeschool her. Again, they knew the dress code, yet they chose to let her break it - why not wait til the day after graduation? Why did she have to have it blue for the ceremony? No one else dyed their hair blue, so why did she?

Sure, it wasn't in a classroom setting, but it was still a school sanctioned activity.

Even in the "real world" most jobs have dress codes - most places don't let you have crazy hair colors or excessive piercings or visible tattoos. If you're out of dress code you get sent home without pay or even fired if it's a continued thing.

This upcoming generation just doesn't seem to care and thinks they're entitled to do anything and everything they want. And it's all because the parents let them. I'm tired of it!

This past semester my mom was telling me about a couple girls who got facial piercings at my sister's school, one of which was on the bowling team with my sis. Now my sis goes to the same private school I went to, however since I was there they switched to uniforms as too many students were breaking the dress code and it was getting too hard to easily enforce everyone.

Anyways, at the school, excessive piercings and facial piercings are not permitted on girls and boys cannot have any.

The girl on my sis's bowling team wore hers during a bowling match. While they were not in school (they were at a bowling alley) there were people who were watching and started asking about the girl with the piercings, verifying that she went to my sis's school. These weren't parents, they were just observers. I guess some also complained to the principal about these girls getting to wear their piercings, as they were wearing them around school and the principal confronted them about it.

What was the reaction?

They whined and complained, stating they couldn't take them out yet as they were still new enough that if they took them out they would close up. Then they threatened to make the principal pay for the piercings if they were to take them out and they closed up.

The principal gave up and didn't press it any further.

Now when I went there, this principal was just one of the junior high teachers. But I was sort of friends with the girl in school who had the facial piercings and multiple holes in her ears.

Baby Piercings
She didn't get most of them until senior year and I remember how much crap she went through with the faculty and administration over them. She couldn't have more than 2 in each ear while at school or at school sanctioned functions. The ones she couldn't take out yet she had to cover with a bandaid. She understood though, as she knew the school dress code prior to getting them and once they found out and noticed and confronted her about it, she complied (she had over 10).

There were boys at our school that had piercings - they too were asked to remove them during school hours and I don't recall them ever complaining or throwing a huge fuss like these girls were or the girl with her hair dye.

I think it's ridiculous that 8 years later the current administration and faculty (some of which were there at the time my friend was and gave her grief over it) are now just giving up at the first time students whine about it and threaten to make them pay if it closes up.

Hey, guess what - the dress code policy on the issue hasn't changed since it was written like over 2 decades ago! You knew it was there, you choose to do it anyway and you got caught. Boo-f'ing-hoo!

What really irks me is that radio jocks this afternoon who were talking about it, stating they're not sure if she was right or wrong in doing so and whether or not the school administration's reaction to it was right or wrong, wanted to invite her out to some upcoming area-wide festival and have her walk across the stage in her cap and gown and receive her recognition prior to one of the bands going on.

How is that fair to the other 180 students in her class who followed the rules?

She broke the dress code and now she gets to be a minor local celebrity getting recognized at a city event because of it? It sounds like we're rewarding "bad" behavior here - break your school's rules and you'll get recognized on the radio and get to be recognized at some area-wide festival.

I'll admit, I think the administration was a little harsh, not letting her participate in graduation because of her hair color and I can see the misunderstanding her and her parents made that they assumed because classes were over it would be okay, but still. It was stated in the dress code that it was not permitted at school sanctioned events, which graduation would fall under, and she did it anyway. Yes, they could have let it slide this once, but still - who's to say other students wouldn't have dyed their hair crazy colors if they knew they could get away with it too?

I know that if I could get away with lots of piercings and still have a job or have no problem getting a new one I would get more than what I have.

What are your thoughts?

One thing I failed to mention, from what they said on the radio, she was given the option to go home and change her hair color back, but I take it she didn't. Obviously she didn't feel that this graduation was that important - if it was really that big a deal, if it really was that important for her to walk across the stage, she could have changed it back that afternoon and been able to, but she chose not to. 


  1. While I think breaking the rules for the sake of breaking the rules is retarded and people need to own up to the consequences of their actions, the only problem I have with this is that, technically, she is not wrong to dye her hair for this event, assuming what you posted is the exact wording of the school/district's dress code.

    You say that it says no school sanctioned events, but that is not actually the case, as you have put it, with regard to hair dye (facial piercings may be a different matter entirely). The exact wording you used was "that will disrupt or distract from EDUCATIONAL activities."

    In no way is a graduation ceremony an "educational" activity. Now, if the school and district were to change the wording, then it is another matter. However, she did technically act within the letter of the law, so to speak.

    Of course, this is entirely based on the assumption that the wording is exactly as you have it listed. Either way, if the school board/principal/whoever is in charge makes the call that she is wrong (while being fair and actually considering exactly what the rules state), then she does need to own up to the consequences of her actions.

  2. Well, on the one hand, it's plain to see that she didn't mean to break any rules. It's not like she was planning to arrive in a chicken suit or naked and painted purple or anything purposefully disruptive. Being 13 years old, she probably just did what she thought was cool, and didn't stop to think about the possible consequences of her decision.

    But on the other hand (and more importantly), THAT'S why we make 13 year olds subject to school rules and regulations -- so that they learn that actions have consequences when you're part of a larger community. You're right: she broke the rules, plain and simple. Maybe the punishment doesn't fit her crime, but whatever -- it's her 8th grade graduation, it's not like she'd even remember it. And I love how she's like "I've been dreaming of getting my 8th grade diploma since 5th grade." Wow, THREE whole years? :P

  3. @Gryn - I copy/pasted from the news article, so I'm amusing that's the wording in the school handbook, but who knows.

    @Melissa - Exactly! Yes, it might have been a little harsh and they could have let it slide since school was technically over, but still... if they let her do it how is that fair to all the other students? We don't know how many of them would have dyed their hair crazy colors had they known they could get away with. If it was the 'real world' and this was a job setting she'd likely get fired or sent home without pay until she changed it back.

    It's one of those things where she thinks 8th grade graduation is such a huge deal - it's a big deal now, but in 4 years when she's graduating high school she probably won't even remember or look back and laugh at what a big fuss they made. I vaguely remember my own and we only had it cuz it was a private school - back then none of the public schools had an 8th grade graduation because it graduating 8th grade really isn't that big a deal...

  4. Also, going off what they were saying on the radio - they said she was given the option to go home and dye her hair back, as the ceremony wasn't until later that evening.

    But I take it she didn't, therefore it was her own choice to be stubborn.

  5. Like I said ... whatever was decided, she should own up and take responsibility and accept the consequences, rather than complain about them. There is no excuse for that. Whether it was right or wrong, is another matter entirely.

    And letting her do so would only be unfair to the other students if they wanted to do the same thing and were told no and told they wouldn't be allowed to march. If none of them attempted to dye their hair or wanted it, it is not really "unfair" for them. They had no real stake either way ...

  6. Ugh - I agree with you 100%. I wouldn't go so far as to say "the whole generation" since a lot of the time it's the parents that are raising a fuss and bitching about everything, but suddenly everybody thinks that consequences don't exist or don't apply to them.

    Damn kids these days!

  7. I think that the rule is ridiculous. I was at the ceremony for my child and there was another girl there who had orange hair, how is that fair?

    You all are saying that no one else broke the rule so why should this girl be able to, but the thing is, a girl named Natalie had orange hair during the ceremony.

    Madison was given the option to re-dye her hair. But who has 40 dollars to get it re-dyed and then another 40 on top of that to dye it blue once more?

    I know this girl was singled out all year at Stephen Mack. My daughter told me, She had even been sent home one day for have drawings on her arms, in sharpie marker. How is it that, that is a rule?

    This school singled her out for being creative and different. If you've noticed, most of the girls at Stephen Mack follow the crowd, dress exactly alike, and act like they've never even heard the word individuality.

    Do we really want 6 billion clones in the world?


What's your thoughts?