11-year-old Alexandria Boy Ashton Bodiford hasn't been to school in over 2 weeks. Was he kicked out because of fighting? Was he kicked out because he was bringing a gun to school? Nope, none of these reasons. He's been kicked out because his hair is too long.

Ashton will not be allowed back at school until his hair is cut to meet Rapides Parish  policy. His hair currently is around the middle of his back. Rapides Parish School Board policy requires male students to keep hair no longer than chin-length in the back and no longer than 3 inches on top.

"We feel the policy is very gender-biased," His Mother Angela Brewton said. "The rules they have in place are pretty antiquated," Shawn said. "And the people who put them in place or are keeping them in place are not very open-minded."

"It makes me upset (to be out of school)," Ashton said. "I'm missing my biggest test (PARCC)."

"As parents we are put between a rock and a hard place," Angela said. "Do we teach our children to stand up for their rights, to be an individual, be who you want to be? ... We tell them you can be anything. Ashton just wants to be himself."

Ashoton's sister has been bringing home his assignments for him to keep up with at home.

I actually attended kindergarten at J.B. Nachman Elementary, the same elementary school that Ashton does. It's a great school. The problem here is the parish policy. This is exactly how it was when I was a kid growing up in Alexandria. I fail to see how this has anything to do with educating a child. Sure, there are rules to be followed in school and in life. Kids need to learn to understand and respect this. You can't just do what you want. This kid isn't breaking any other dress code policy. He's not dyeing it green. He's not trying to wear a foot high mohawk. He just enjoys having his hair long. This hair policy is not something he'll have to adhere to later in his life. It's not damaging his character, it's simply a personal choice. Is it REALLY that big of a deal?

What do you think would happen if policy were put in place forbidding girls to wear their hair short? It's the exact. Same. Thing.

By the same token, is it really worth him not attending school? I'm all for standing up for what you believe in, and support this kid 100%. But do the ends justify the means in this case?

I think we all have so much more important things to focus our efforts on other than hair.

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