A school named after a Medal of Honor recipient has threatened to suspend a second grade student, calling his military haircut a “distraction.”
Seven-year-old Adam Stinnett got his haircut “high and tight” in honor of his stepbrother who is serving in the Army. But the principal of Bobby Ray Elementary School, Monti Hillis, told Adam’s mother in an email, “We are not a military school and the boy’s haircut is against the rules.” The principal says she banned the haircut because it resembled a “mohawk.”
Not surprisingly, the idiotic policy set off a firestorm of protest.
From the Times-Free Press
Repeated efforts to contact Hillis were unsuccessful. In a statement released Wednesday, the Warren County Board of Education said it couldn’t comment on the controversy.
“Due to the confidential nature of this incident, which addresses a specific student and on advice of counsel, we cannot comment on the specifics of this incident and the investigation we have conducted internally,” the statement said.
The statement also said the Warren County School Board Policy “doesn’t address or prohibit any hairstyle” but “does allow each individual school to make guidelines appropriate for their particular school.” It emphasized the district’s support of all branches of the military, its pride that Bobby Ray Elementary is named after “a true American hero,” and that “Neither Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary nor any school in Warren County School District prohibits military haircuts.”
Adding irony to the situation is the fact that Adam’s school is named for a McMinnville soldier who was killed in Vietnam. And the school’s gymnasium, according to Stinnett, is named after another soldier, a classmate of hers who died in Afghanistan.
Hillis stuck to her guns.
“[Principal Hillis] said it was a distraction, and threatened to have him kicked out of school unless we shaved it off,” Stinnett said. “Like a bald head isn’t a distraction?”
Stinnett complied, but not before taking a photo and sharing her son’s story with the Southern Standard newspaper in McMinnville. The story was picked up by news outlets across the state, and Stinnett and Adam appeared nationally on “Fox and Friends” on Friday. Stinnett said Adam is loving the attention.
“Thursday night he said, ‘Momma, after tomorrow I’m going to be famous,'” Stinnett said.
The kid has a great attitude, but he shouldn’t have to put up with this nonsense. Note that the school district has thrown the principal under the bus, although it’s probable that the rule against such haircuts was written by them. Their pious proclamations of patriotism ring hollow when placed against their actions.
Adam got another military haircut on Thursday and attended school on Friday. The principal never said a word.