clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Short-hair requirement is ruled OK

Even though requiring boys to have short hair is "out of step with the social norms of the moment," the state Supreme Court ruled that schools have the right to suspend male students who won't get a trim.

The decision, released Thursday, reversed an appeals court ruling that said the Bastrop Independent School District violated the law in 1990 when it suspended Zachariah Toungate, who had a 7-inch ponytail in the third grade."The requirement that males wear their hair no longer than a certain length may be out of step with the social norms of the moment, but it does not deprive male students of an equal opportunity to receive an education or to participate in school functions," said Justice Priscilla Owen, who wrote the 7-1 opinion.

The court ruled in 1995 that similar school rules don't violate the Texas Constitution. But Zachariah's mother, September Toungate, challenged the rule under a state anti-discrimination law.

Justice Rose Spector, the lone dissenting judge, said enforcing the rule is illegal because it is not gender-neutral.