It’s usually up to the parents to decide how to style their son’s hair at a young age. While most adults opt for short haircuts for their sons, some opt to grow their little boy’s hair to longer lengths. Ursula Martin of Hockley, Texas, chose the latter and she is paying the consequences.

Her 5 year-old son’s long hair, which she views as a religious statement, is preventing him from being enrolled into Roberts Road Elementary. The school employs a dress code which doesn’t allow for a boy’s hair to grow longer than his shirt collar.

Martin said:

“He doesn’t feel like he should have to cut his hair to go to school. And I don’t understand — what does the length of his hair have to do with him being educated?”

The Waller Independent School District, which Roberts Road Elementary school is a part of, isn’t budging. They released the following statement:

“The principal of each campus shall apply the grooming code and make all final decisions regarding what is acceptable and appropriate, considering the age and activities of the students.Guidelines and administrative decisions regarding appropriate dress will reflect concern for health and safety of students and the influence of specific dress or grooming on the overall educational climate of the school.”

What are your thoughts on the issue, Clutchettes? Should Ursula Martin concede to the dress code, if she wants her son to attend Roberts Road Elementary school?


  • MommieDearest


    Now, if she finds that the rule is not being applied fairly across the board, then she has an argument. But if every other student follows the rules, her son needs to do the same.

    However, I am curious about the religious reasons for her son’s long hair. If it’s important for her to keep his hair long, maybe she can be allowed to style it so that it doesn’t hang below his collar.

  • Apple

    I thought I was going to see hair down to his butt or feet. If it isn’t Catholic/private school he shouldn’t have to do anything he doesn’t wanna to his appearance

  • Nikki

    I know a guy when was raised as a black Israelite/black Jew. He had hair this length when he attended school. It was for religious reasons.

  • EST. 1986

    I don’t think the little boy should have to cut his hair, but I am interested in knowing what wacky reason this constitutes as a religious statement.

  • Sasha

    I’d like to know her religious reasoning for keeping her son’s hair long but regardless of her beliefs, if she would like for her son to attend the school then she needs to abide by the school’s guidelines. Her son is no different than any other boy or girl at the school and should not be treated as such.

  • Nana

    If having hair below the collar is a safety issue for boys it should apply to girls too. Are girls less likely to get hurt with longer hair? It seems to me like this principal is trying to indoctrinate children into what he/she feels is suitable for societal standards at the school. I would think that dress code standards would be across the board throughout the county and not on a school by school basis. It is doubtful that hairstyles will reflect negatively or positively on any educational setting unless the style is preventing other students from seeing the board. This is just another reason why I don’t like much of anything about Texas.

  • MuffyCrosswire

    The mother is wrong for sending her baby to school with a twist out! Yes they should abide by the rules. If not, that’s only going to start a chain reaction of others wanting to break the rules.

  • donnadara

    It’s a public school. They shouldn’t be able to force him to cut his hair. Sounds like gender discrimination to me. Does this district think that defending a lawsuit is a responsible use of taxpayer resources?

  • tish

    i’m assuming this school is high-performing and all of the students read on grade-level. hence, they have ample time to enforce hair-styles. yes? #lame.

  • Sasha

    This particular dress code is not exclusive to Texas. It is the case in many Catholic schools in various states as well. I don’t know if this school is a Catholic institution but if it is she needs to take her child to another school if she doesn’t want to abide by the school’s dress code.

  • Tonton Michel

    Kudos tobthe principle forbtaking a stance and enforcing a dress code. To many mothers walking around treating their kids like a walking talking doll to stylize like they want. You can not trust some of them to raise their kids priperly so the task falls to the school.

  • Kenzy

    wow thats an excellent point i didnt even think about, if this is for supposed safety rules then the same rules should apply to girls as well, if the mother uses that she may gain some leeway or have a case

  • myblackfriendsays

    The government doesn’t get to tell people how to wear their hair.

  • J. Nicole

    It’s silly that the school places so much emphasis on hair as if that will prevent him from learning. But, if she was aware of the dress code before he was admitted, then she needs to comply. Not saying this is the case but I remember when I was in HS, head coverings were only allowed for religious purposes, and a class mate would wear one when her hair wasn’t done & site religion as a way to bend the rules in her favor.

    Some schools enforce stricter dress codes now to try to prevent bullying from other students, however they miss out on the importance of self expression

  • Tonton Michel

    1- it just did.
    2- if you want to use their service you will comply.

  • Tasha

    Kids don’t get to self express in elementary school. Get the boy a haircut and keep it moving. I want to know does he know his colors, abc’s, 123′s. his phone number and address, and can he tie his shoes. Has mom done her job of getting him ready for elementary school.

  • JadaJay

    Right? Priorities, people. Schools are still trying to do everything BUT educate kids. Our hands are in too many pots. Teaching for the past 7 years has shown me that.

    Just let the boy go to Kindergarten. It’s just hair.

  • Robbie

    I agree with Tonton Michel. That kid needs to apply by the rule and his mother shou;d accept it. Just like I have to abide by my company’s policies, this child and his mother need to learn that in life, there will be rules that they would not like but still have to abide by.

    Sick of these mothers that think that rules apply to others and not to their kids. Cut his hair point blank, if not pick another school.

  • kima

    If she does not want to cut it, just modify the style to meet their regulations. When he goes to school, just give him a wash and go. His hair will probably shrink up above his collar. Shrinkage is part of the magic of natural black hair, embrace it. Save the braid outs, twist outs, and “hang time” styles for the weekends. Unless the rules say he cannot have a 8″ fro, he should be all set.

  • EST. 1986

    I suspect that the hair rule for boys is strictly based on gender roles where it is thought that men/boys have short hair and women/girls have long hair. There would be no leeway for this mother in this case because most people would not agree with a girl having to not have hair that is more than shoulder length.

  • DownSouth Transplant

    Mommie dearest, just playing the devils advocate, should the mother just follow the rules because all the other parents in the school follow it, why not question it’s purpose, since the district clearly stated it is a school Principle decision not the district mandate?

  • DownSouth Transplant

    “Principal” sorry auto correct but you get my Q

  • chinaza

    Mom needs to obey the school rules or take him to a different school. Maybe the one run by her religion.
    On a wider note,school uniform is an important tool in trying to equalize students and it does reduce some financial and social pressures. It’s just not the tradition in the USA.

  • rkahendi

    I don’t agree with the “walking talking doll” comment, but I do think it’s fine that schools get to set a dress code, however arbitrary. If the code is being enforced across the board, and if families are being notified about it BEFORE enrolling their kids in it, then it’s all good. Because this family cites religious reasons for the length of their kid’s hair, any obstacles to enrolling their child in another public school (I’m assuming the school in the article is public) locally should be removed.

  • binks

    Agreed! Why not find a style that lets him keep his hair AND falls in line with the school’s guidelines. A lot of schools have strict dress code from the amount of pockets you can wear, the hair color you can sport, what type of makeup is deem acceptable, etc. So I don’t see the big shock or deal of school enforcing dress/appearance code. If it is for religious reasons than YES that has to be up for debate but as you said this is a workable situation. So I am kind of “meh” about the situation because on one hand I don’t think the mom is wrong but I don’t think the school is wrong either because these ARE things parents should look into and decide when they plan out watch school their children attend.

  • MommieDearest

    Hi DownSouth Transplant!

    To answer your question, I think the mom should follow the rules because they are the rules; not so much just because the other parents in the school follow them. My mention of other people in my original comment was in reference to making sure the principal was not being discriminatory and was indeed applying to rule to everyone- not just her son.

    I think it’s perfectly fine for her to question the rule’s purpose, and if she is so moved, take steps to appeal the it. However, meanwhile, she needs to follow the rule or send her son elsewhere.

  • Lol

    Mom wan’t to show her son’s got that gooooood hair. I see this all the time, please.

  • deemyselfandi

    I graduated from Waller High School and Hockley is right down the road from my parents’ house. It is a very traditional (read Republican) country town so gender roles are kind of a big deal. I can say that this rule is applied evenly. Once acception to this rule was my brother. He went to a different elementary school in the district that was predominantly black and he wore his dreads a few inches past his collar bone but up in a ponytail. These are some of the perks of being well-known family in a small town. Other than that that particular rule is applied even handedlly. Plentey of white, mexican and “other” guys had to keep their hair cut above the collar. If it was longer the pulled it into a low bun and no one was the wiser.

    Hair shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Pull the child’s hair up or use shrinkage to your advantage. Waller is not going to change anytime soon.

  • Pseudonym

    Waller Independent School District sounds like a private school to me. In that case, I would just send my child somewhere else b/c if you can’t even agree with the culture they’re teaching the children when it comes to something as trivial as hair, is just the tip of the iceberg and you’re likely to find other disagreements. Kids are in school for 6 hours a day. Be ware who you allow to indoctrinate your children.

  • justanotheropinion

    Part of me says “don’t comply and fight this ‘ish”. The reality is, the school is allowed to have it’s rules. If you don’t like the rules, you need to go elsewhere. PERIOD. I’m a bit tired of the PC atmosphere that has transpired where everyone and everything needs to be able to bend to everyone’s individual beliefs and desires. Spend your energy where it really matters…..

  • EST. 1986

    I don’t think a mother letting her son’s hair get long is her not ‘letting’ him be a boy. I think the issue is how mother’s style the hair to where the little boy can be mistaken as a little girl.

  • Lol

    Thank you. These new age parents kill me with a child’s right to expression dafuk??? They’d have no problem with a 5 yr old boy going to school in dangling earrings, kitten heels and twist outs. RMFE

  • Christine

    I really don’t understand why the gender of a child matters at all. Teach your kids to be a human being. The qualities of a decent human being (being considerate, modest, humble, self sufficient, hardworking, standing up for yourself and other people, dignity etc) should apply to every gender. It has nothing to do with learning to be a man or a woman

  • EST. 1986

    I am speaking based on how society operates in relation to gender.

  • Christine

    While I think there are other ways to self express besides hair, self-expression is something we learn and should learn from an early age. It’s not just about having a personal style, it’s about developing your own identity, learning about who you are, where you come from, what you’re strengths and weaknesses academically, emotionally, and socially are. As human beings grown and develop psychologically, they come into a greater understanding of themselves in relation to others. It’s why children are initially not very empathetic or more egotistical. That cognition comes with brain development over time. Without self expression, no one would ever develop properly and we’d all be emotionally stunted acting like 5 year olds.

  • Christine

    Does the school hold the same policy for girls?

  • oldschool

    You do realize they’re talking about a BOY here right? What religion teaches that boys can’t cut their hair? Where is the chapter and verse?
    This is just one of those women who wants everyone to ooh and ahh over the texture of her child’s hair, regardless of the fact that the child is a boy.
    The main point is that this woman is teaching her child to fight for the wrong things. Those are not locs. He is not Rastafarian.

  • Allie

    This school district is publicaly funded and here is where the issue lies.

    If it gets state and federal funds the school district CAN NOT do this, its totally illegal

    Think about it your money is going to a school district that allows for such bogus and dumb policies to be enforced

  • truth hurts

    He has longer hair than most of the little black girls his age.#tragic

  • Lori

    His mother should trim his hair and send him back to school. A 5 year old shouldn’t be used in this struggle between a (stupid) school policy and a parent. Pick your battles. This one shouldn’t be fought.

  • Joseph

    Right? Since it’s all about going to school and learning, he’ll start by learning how to just conform to what other people think he should do! Then he can be a nice little robot that only does what you agree with.

  • jessrae schnider

    At the same time, kindergarten is just a time to learn how to socialize. Important, but can be done in different settings.

  • EST. 1986


  • chanela17

    i can’t stand little boys with long hair!!! i notice that black women with mixed kids tend to do that just to show off that their son has long hair. actually little mixed girls AND boys tend to hair hair down to their kneecaps for no reason because their parent wants to show off that their child has “good hair” (the type of people who do that are the type who use that term).lol

  • chanela17

    ROFL i just made a comment about that! lol i hate when black mothers do that!

  • chanela17

    because little boys don’t get their hair permed and pressed into submission once they grow their hair an inch. little boys and men are for some reason allowed to walk around with their hair any kind of way, so therefore it allows the hair to grow (and retain length). women and little girls use gel,wax,glaze and all these other damn products to get a decent ponytail.

  • Ivriniel

    Maybe kindergarten was like that when you attended, but it is really not the case anymore. I teach Grade I and the expectation is that Kindergarteners will already be starting to read and write before they get to me.

  • Ivriniel

    What a ridiculous rule. Where I teach, we have boys with exactly the same hair style, and boys with even longer hair, and it is a non issue. This has more to do with the person hang ups of the Principal than it has to do with pedagogy.

  • Ivriniel

    You must not see a lot of 5 year old girls.

  • Zoe99

    Have you really never heard of the Sikh religion? I imagine there are others, but the Sikh religion has millions of adherants, and their religion requires that men never cut their hair. They wear turbans over their long hair, and never have it uncovered in public. I don’t know if this woman is Sikh, but whether or not she is, it’s her right to follow the tenets of her religion. She may not be able to stay at this school if it’s private, but if it’s public, I’m pretty sure that separation of church and state would say that the school cannot tell her to cut her son’s hair.

  • Zoe99

    Hmm. Clutch seems to have eaten my reply. Have you never heard of the Sikh religion? Granted Sikhs are usually from India, but there could be a sect of Christianity or Islam that shares the same belief. If it’s a public school, the dress code doesn’t trump someone’s religious beliefs.

  • ChaCha1 (C)

    True, Ivriniel, kindergarten is the new 1st grade, and so on. When my child went to kindergarten, it seemed like the material I learned in 1st grade and early 2nd grade.

  • Apple

    You sound bald

  • emma

    I never understand these overzealous dress codes. My high school was a magnet school with a large number of teachers with Masters degrees and PhDs. We weren’t considered a “feeder” school, but every year a few students went on to ivy league schools. A 5.0 GPA (weighted) didn’t even put you in the top 20, and a B-average put you in the bottom 50% of your class.

    We also had a large number of students (and a few teachers) with visible piercings, tattoos, wildly dyed hair, and hairstyles like mohawks, partially shaved heads, boys with waist-length hair, etc. Our principal had purple streaks in her hair.

    If unconventional hair actually causes problems in a school, there is something wrong with the school.

  • EST. 1986

    “I am speaking based on how society operates in relation to gender.”

    What is wrong with this statement?

  • YeahRight2011

    Cut it or transfer him. Mom’s hang up is costing this kid an education.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    I agree and don’t care about any thumbs down either.
    I also can’t stand when parents pierce little boys ears.

    Let them make these decisions once they are of age

  • Ashley Longworth

    We’re really still fighting the Hair Wars in 2013?

  • chanela17

    LOL i’m not. look at my comment above about boys not having to perm and press their hair and little girls for some reason getting scolded for not using gel,wax,press cream, ect for their ponytails.

    i mean it’s true! i’ve seen parents do this and brag all day long about their kid’s

  • gmarie

    But Jace and Brody can run around with arm pit length “rock star” hair. Okay. I personally don’t even care for the look of long hair on little boys but it is no grounds for denying a child their right to education.

  • starship888

    This is apparently not a public school in which this would be a case of discrimination…
    An non-public school can make their own policy (dress code)…if the boy’s mother knows the rules she can either comply or send him somewhere else…
    The U.S. Military does not allow LONG HAIR on males but the NFL does…LOL

  • Katina Bowers (@gleefulkyttyn)

    @Starship…it is a public school and it is not discrimination it falls under dress code.

  • Katina Bowers (@gleefulkyttyn)

    Allie they can do this. The way they will get around this is to state that the school dress code is in place in part for the safety of the student. Sorry, it is not illegal. Anything that will draw attention from the academics of the day can be addressed this way. I work in a school district in Texas and while our students do not have a hair length issue in the dress code hair color is and it is deemed so because changing hair color distracts from the education of other students.

  • TS

    The whole thing is discriminatory. Why should I have to cut my son’s hair so dreadfully short for him to receive an education when girls can wear their hair as long as their parent wishes? I would like to take this rule on. The same standards should be applied to both males and females in this day and time. I am not asking that his hair be down to the middle of his back, but I do prefer it longer than his ears or collar. That should be the right of the parent.

  • Sandy

    Cut your sons hair… what’s more important.?.. a hair statement or your sons education? Even if it for something religious.. get used to it… the dress codes are put in place for a reason.. if u Dont like the schools dress codes or policy.. then send your child to a different school…At some point and time we ALL have to adhere to rules/regulations… whether we like it or not.. So get used to it!!! If u Dont like the school/policies then go where no one will care!!!

  • princessevilina

    I’m sorry but this is exactly why we have so many rotten little thugs running around today. You all insist on teaching them that everyone gets a gold star because everyone is a winner (meaning nobody needs to try to excel at all), nobody should be able to tell them anything about what you do or how to groom themselves properly in order to look appropriate for the setting they’re in (which ends up equaling no respect for authority on any level including the ability to hold down and job and move out on their own), and then you wonder why the ill mannered little sh!ts have no respect for human life of other people in general. You throw your hands up to God and ask him why they’re so selfish and tend to become violent when things don’t go their way.

    Well shucks, I can’t imagine why a child with no discipline and no sense of responsibility would ever grow up to be a less than outstanding adult. Cut that boys hair and send him to get the education he needs! He’s already got one strike against him because he’s Black in this messed up world. Would you have him be ignorant too? If he wants to make a statement about why he thinks long hair is acceptable on young men, let him write an award winning essay about it!

  • Capriatta

    Clearly you are white and a racist.

  • Eddie Shiraz

    can’t they just conceal his hair in a discreet ponytail? I believe that long hair can be presented in a professional way, without infringing on his right/privilege ( or what have you) and being able to receive a quality education. why should he be forced to make a choice over something of minor significance? why should a darn hairstyle be the deciding factor on whether he is allowed into school or not?

  • Nvda Agehya

    Good points and also some of the native american tribes also place a spiritual value on the hair.

  • jay

    BECAUSE the other parents don’t have the SAME RELIGIOUS reasons!!

  • JAY

    WACKY? many religions have this belief & it is not WACKY

  • JAY


  • shannon thomas

    I thought us ole hippies settled the hair debate in about 1968..with the backing of the U.S. supreme court! only I (and my parents!!!) will decide how long my hair will be…

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