Friday, January 28, 2011

No (Hair)cut Policy

In my classes, we increasingly are seeing Jesus having confrontations with the Pharisees. We have pointed out several perceived strengths of these religious leaders: praying, giving, teaching, fasting. But we also have noted they were proud of their talents and seemed to promote the keeping of rules over the bigger picture of mercy and the saving of sinners. In our discussion, I brought up a story from Indiana where an eighth grade boy was removed from his middle school basketball team for refusing to cut his hair according to the team policy. The parents sued, arguing it was their son's right to wear his hair as he wished and added that girls were not required to cut their locks. The school district countered by saying basketball is not a right but an extracurricular, a privilege, and that teams often have such guidelines for a number of reasons. We talked about what is important and not surprisingly, my students had wide ranging views in the matter. Below are three, two which are diametrically opposed and one with more of a 'I can see both sides' perspective. These were used with permission of the young ladies.
"I think the boy should get his haircut because it is the coach's rule, and he has to obey his coach if he is going to play for him. You have to pay attention to what your coach says to establish discipline among the team. It also makes the team look nicer and more clean cut when they look the same and are groomed like guys are supposed to be. I think he just should have cut his hair because it can always grow back after he's done playing during the season. In junior high, our guys had to dress up for away games and they all did it because they played for their coach who was their higher authority. If your boss tells you to cut your hair or you lose your job, must likely you will do it because you don't want to lose your job." Caitlin

"Image is not everything. Looks should only go so far. Looking clean should only go to clothing, not to your body features. I think it is a rule that is important but should not be drawn out to include hair. Hair is just as important to a guy as it is to a girl. If the guy was a good kid and always came on time and wore his correct uniform, I would be happy with him. There are no safety issues for him and he has not done anything wrong. It's an absurd rule to force someone to change themselves to do a sport they love. I think it's unfair for the kid; a coach should be more focused on helping the athlete succeed and feel good about the sport, NOT the IMAGE! He should lift him up instead of tearing him down and make him conform to "what looks good." That is why I think the hair rule is unnecessary and a guy should have as much say as a girl does with their own hair." Julia

"I don't understand the big deal; both sides are being absurd because it's easy to follow the rules and cut your hair. He knew the rules of the team so why did he choose not to follow them? If he really wanted to play basketball, he should have cut his hair. Obviously, he'd rather have his hair, which he can grow back after basketball season, than play basketball. But, if his hair is in accordance with school hair policy, he should be allowed to wear it anyway he likes." Elissa
Applicable quote of the day:
"It doesn't matter how long my hair is or what colour my skin is or whether I'm a woman or a man."
John Lennon
God bless,
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Redeemed1 said...

I agree with Caitlyn. It's not about whether or not long hair is right or wrong, it's about being obedient to those in authority over us. Unless they command something that God prohibits or prohibit something that God commands we are to obey those who have authority over us and in doing so we honor God.

Ciera said...

It boils down to what the boy wanted more: basketball or his hair. I believe Elissa hit briefly on that.

Did your class discuss the parents role in all this? He might have been the one to refuse to cut his air, but they're the ones who sued. If nothing else, it points out what a 'sue happy' society we live in today!