January 4, 2011

Long hair is not a right under the Fourteenth Amendment

As I become increasingly cantankerous I often feel the urge to smack certain people firmly on the side of the head with a baseball bat. I would, of course, use proper follow through when administering this erstwhile "clue bat".

Today I am strongly fighting the urge to head down Interstate 74 to South Central Indiana and beat Patrick and Melissa Hayden, the parents of a Greensburg Junior High Schooler. The Haydens have sued the Greensburg School Corporation because the basketball coach had the unmitigated gall to require his players cut their hair! Patrick and Melissa have sued in Federal Court to have the policy declared Unconstitutional and for ...wait for it...damages! source another source

Really? Not participating in sports at the Junior High level will cause the precious little  hippie "irreparable harm"?  I am all for supporting Constitutional rights. I makes me sick, but if assholes want to burn the Flag, it is their right. I do think a group or organization has the right to define grooming standards that best represent that group. The basketball team in this case is representing the school and the community. The student is participating by his own choice. He knew the rules going in.

Back in the stone ages of the 1970s I participated in wrestling. In those waning hippies days popular hair styles were every bit as long or even longer, than today. In fact, the only students in the high school that had hair above their collars, eyebrows and showing any ear at all were either in ROTC or playing on a sports team. I wanted to participate, so I cut my hair. Guess what? It grew back!

Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Hayden, human hair grows back after it is cut! Imagine, your precious boy can cut his hair if he wants to play, then it will grow back in a month or two. Crazy, I know.

The Haydens of Greensburg need to teach their son a lesson. It is not that The Man is out to stifle his individual freedom, but that life is not fair. If you want to work as a server in a fine dining establishment, the owners are going to insist you take the studs from you cheeks and chin. Mike Tyson-like tattoos on your face will not get you that coveted CEO position. My company expects me to be well groomed. I would much prefer to wear my comfortable Levis and an old T-shirt when I visit customers, but that is not the professional image I or my company want to project.

Playing sports is a privilege. You have to wear the stupid shorts and tank top if you play basketball. Some teams make the players wear matching shoes. Unless the Haydens can prove their little precious is a modern-day Sampson, that his long hair gives him extraordinary abilities to rebound and toss up three pointers like Reggie Miller, he needs to cut his hair.

Serious Tort reform that makes the loser pay court costs would eliminate this kind of nonsense. The Haydens will be the first to whine and complain when their property taxes go up, never making the connection that taxpayer money will be used in the legal defense of this lawsuit and to pay any damages they might win. Man, if I could be a judge for a day...Can you rule the Plaintiffs are fucking morons?


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Amen to that.

dragonlady474 said...

What Nathan said!
How is it unconstitutional? The Constitution was created to protect us from the government, not private organizations or other people. But let's face it, even in Civil court this case would be a joke.

Anonymous said...

It's unconstitutional because:

1) It has no reasonable goal as a requirement that couldn't be met with measures such as ponytail. And let's add that 3 inch long hair (probably enough to be over-regulation) is short as heck.

2) It doesn't require the same of females on sports teams. Or even all male teams. A female with a pixie cut (longer than 3 inch, but to short to tie in a ponytail) would be accepted. At worst a headband worn with it.

With pretty straight hair, one needs to wait 9-12 months to reach ponytail-level from a buzzcut. Not doable solely in the off-season. So I'm sure they make concessions for non-ponytail-able females because their hair is in an intermediate stage between short and long.

As for hair regrowing in a month or two. My hair is 3 feet long. This is 6 years of growth at the average speed (1/2 inch a month, so 36 inches long). 1 month or 2 is if you want "really short hair" anyways.

I do wonder about your example of matching shoes, given shoes aren't exactly cheap for sports. They're usually more performant/specialized than plain sneakers you use for walks or everyday usage. Adding 100$+ to the bill of every player when they're not being paid to play sounds a bit much.

About becoming CEO. Danny Filth could be a CEO if he wanted. By definition, a CEO is the head of a company, the highest title, the majority-owner in many cases. You either started it yourself, or inherited it. No one is above you and I'm sure Bill Gates could look like the KISS group without people saying "Microsoft is bad, let's not use Windows anymore"

Joe said...

Thanks for your reply Sara. Many sports teams in this area require the participants to purchase the uniforms. We paid well over $100 for tennis uniforms. Yes, some teams at hiogher levels insist the players have matching shoes as well. The student is not being kept from school, only a voluntary extracurricular activity.

NEWS FLASH -- Boys and girls are different. Should we insist girls wear a cup and jockstrap? Should boys be required to wear a sports bra? They all have to be thesame according to you. Should we insist girls participate in swimming when they are on their period? Perhaps we should insist all sports atheletes have the same short haor requirements as the boys basketball team. With your long hair would you be satisfied since all atheletes are now treated the same?

Of course a person covered with facial tatoos and piercings can become wealthy and CEO of his own company. It is also true that the doors of financial institutions and investors will be more closed. Such an individual will have a hard time even getting his foot in the door of corporate America, forget rising to the top. That may not be right, but reality will win.

You make some good arguments, but you are incredibaly naive.

Anonymous said...

Boys and girls are not that different. And it does not justify different hair requirements. I should know, I've been on both sides of the fence regarding this.

It might justify different crotch protection, chest protection - and yes, girls swimming on their period (I'm certain there is stuff for this, like tampons allowing you to swim - it's not like they would forfeit on Olympic day).

I'll be satisfied once the differing requirements are not arbitrary or completely related to made-up gender norms (non-biological stuff). Pre WW1, men had long hair, and it wasn't fashion or a fad (like the hippie period). It was a sign of status.

I'll concede that looks could matter even to a CEO, which wouldn't prevent say, Johnny Depp from being one, as eccentric as he is. He's pretty much famous FOR his eccentrism.

Joe said...

Yes and post WWI hair was short.

So what?

If you look up some of the news reports you will see the kid wa required to cut less than an inch of his hair. he knew the rules. This is about the "damages". If I were the AD, I would dictate all athletes have short hair. Then you would have no complaint, eh?

Anonymous said...

You'd have no complaint except from feminists. Who would say the policy is making girls not play. That it's a disguised attempt at being fair, but is really meant to exclude girls, and is militaristic in style.

Frankly, how is it hurting sports for boys to have the right to long hair just like the girls? It may be so that girls on average have long hair, but I bet they don't meet the "unity" criterion, because their lengths of hair probably vary wildly.

There's girls who have pixie cuts, barely shoulder length, high-back, mid-back, tailbone, and the rare ones who can grow it longer to butt length and possibly longer (some have known to have reached floor length and more, without using dreads). And there's boys who also have those lengths, rarer because it's somehow considered unmanly, and "unprofessional" in certain jobs (but only for men, whaddayanow).

My boyfriend has worked in high school teaching and after in social services, and videogame industry, all with hair longer than shoulder-length. Some requiring ties and shirts, some not (videogame testing is rather lax - you can wear whatever you want within reasonable guidelines), none fussing over his hair length.

Joe said...

We will have to agree to disagree.

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