Pink locks get Michigan girl locked out of school

Eleven-year-old Natasha Rzanca has been out of Sawyer Elementary School for more than a week. Full Story
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No Dye Job

Buffalo, MN

#2 Jan 24, 2009
If she can't dye her hair, I hope no one else (including faculty & staff) is allowed to either.
hmmm

Minneapolis, MN

#3 Jan 24, 2009
oh please, how about some common sense here. Pink hair doesn't hurt anybody.

Since: Apr 08

Twin Cities

#4 Jan 24, 2009
Superintendent Michael Maino, you have made a bad decision. Suspension is supposed to be a consequence of poor behavior. Excluding this student for reasons other than that, especially for something as innocuous as pink hair, has set a precedent that ought not have been set. I hope your decision is challenged before the school board and righted for the sake of common sense.

Zen Birdist

“We're all connected”

Since: Feb 08

St Paul, MN

#5 Jan 24, 2009
ZenBirdist wrote:
Superintendent Michael Maino, you have made a bad decision. Suspension is supposed to be a consequence of poor behavior. Excluding this student for reasons other than that, especially for something as innocuous as pink hair, has set a precedent that ought not have been set. I hope your decision is challenged before the school board and righted for the sake of common sense.
Zen Birdist
I'm guessing there's a lot more to this story than the few sentences that PP is posting. For example, I have no problem with the girl dyeing her hair, but I'm guessing it caused a disruption, something the school staff has to make judgment calls about. Did they give her a chance to change her hair before the suspension? Was she defiant? What did other kids say or do for/against the situation?

Yep, I'm thinking there's more to the story than: "kid dyed hair, kid sent home with a suspension!"

Since: Apr 08

Twin Cities

#6 Jan 24, 2009
Mellers wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm guessing there's a lot more to this story than the few sentences that PP is posting. For example, I have no problem with the girl dyeing her hair, but I'm guessing it caused a disruption, something the school staff has to make judgment calls about. Did they give her a chance to change her hair before the suspension? Was she defiant? What did other kids say or do for/against the situation?
Yep, I'm thinking there's more to the story than: "kid dyed hair, kid sent home with a suspension!"
You must be right, surely there is more to this than we know. The article doesn't quote the parents, which would probably have told us a lot about the situation. As I look forward to the Manic Panic Electric Blue that's going on my hair in a few weeks, I guess I'm a little biased. When my stepdaughter was eleven she wanted to try the rainbow of colors on her hair. We said sure, the temporary kind. Getting our approval was all she needed to get over the idea, and as it turns out I'm the only one in the family to sport a colorful head of hair. Interestingly, she also wanted some piercings at the time, which I did NOT want her to get but I didn't want to squelch her creativity. So, I called arranged a phone call between her and our local tattoo artist. He respectfully explained to her the risks and the potential for scars. Coming from me, it fell on deaf ears. Coming from him, however, made her decide that piercing was not for her. Sometimes a kid just needs all the facts in order to make a good decision on her own.

As for Natasha's pink hair being a distraction, that is probably true but I see an opportunity missed for the teachers in this case. Concentration and focus are teachable skills. At the age of 11, everything is a distraction. Having boys and girls together in a classroom at that age is a distraction!
visual noise

Saint Paul, MN

#7 Jan 24, 2009
As a former teacher, I would call a girl (or boy) having pink hair in my classroom a case of visual noise. The distraction can only hurt the students along with the teacher. She deserves suspension.

“We're all connected”

Since: Feb 08

St Paul, MN

#10 Jan 24, 2009
ZenBirdist wrote:
<quoted text>
You must be right, surely there is more to this than we know. The article doesn't quote the parents, which would probably have told us a lot about the situation. As I look forward to the Manic Panic Electric Blue that's going on my hair in a few weeks, I guess I'm a little biased. When my stepdaughter was eleven she wanted to try the rainbow of colors on her hair. We said sure, the temporary kind. Getting our approval was all she needed to get over the idea, and as it turns out I'm the only one in the family to sport a colorful head of hair. Interestingly, she also wanted some piercings at the time, which I did NOT want her to get but I didn't want to squelch her creativity. So, I called arranged a phone call between her and our local tattoo artist. He respectfully explained to her the risks and the potential for scars. Coming from me, it fell on deaf ears. Coming from him, however, made her decide that piercing was not for her. Sometimes a kid just needs all the facts in order to make a good decision on her own.
As for Natasha's pink hair being a distraction, that is probably true but I see an opportunity missed for the teachers in this case. Concentration and focus are teachable skills. At the age of 11, everything is a distraction. Having boys and girls together in a classroom at that age is a distraction!
Oh, I'm all for self-expression, but a kid doesn't have as much rights as an adult. I guess if I were this kid's parents, I'd check with the school policy handbook to see if there are any issues.

BTW, Electric blue is going to look so awesome in your hair! I think Darwinian would approve!( ;
DizzyOne

Tucker, GA

#11 Jan 24, 2009
The inmates are running the asylum.

Those that can, do! Those that can't, teach!

Since: Apr 08

Twin Cities

#12 Jan 24, 2009
visual noise wrote:
As a former teacher, I would call a girl (or boy) having pink hair in my classroom a case of visual noise. The distraction can only hurt the students along with the teacher. She deserves suspension.
Let me ask this of you, respectfully. What do you do with the early bloomers in a 5th or 6th grade class? Say, the girl who suddenly develops a C cup almost miraculously overnight is quite a distracion in a co-ed classroom of prepubescents. Is she to be suspended as well? Or the wheelchair which one of your students may use, is a considerable distraction. How about a hairstyle that is a natural color but maybe "way out there"? Which clothing is acceptably non-visually noisey and which is too distracting for your students? You may argue that some of those examples are things the student cannot help (a disability or a curvy figure) but isn't teaching focus part of a teacher's charge? I am also a former educator and the one lesson that is larger than life that I have taken with me all these years, is that life itself is the lesson. The curriculum set before us is but the skeleton and we the teachers are given the task of fleshing out those lessons to become meaningful bodies of knowledge. I respectfully but adamantly disagree with your opinion on this one.

Since: Apr 08

Twin Cities

#13 Jan 24, 2009
Oh dear, please excuse my typos!

Zen
Monk

Minneapolis, MN

#14 Jan 24, 2009
DizzyOne wrote:
The inmates are running the asylum.
Those that can, do! Those that can't, teach!
Two meaningless quotes in a rwo. I'll bet you've got a million of them.

Since: Sep 08

Duluth, MN

#15 Jan 24, 2009
visual noise wrote:
As a former teacher, I would call a girl (or boy) having pink hair in my classroom a case of visual noise. The distraction can only hurt the students along with the teacher. She deserves suspension.
Well if the job diddnt bite, you wouldnt get paid for it.
I would say buck up and deal with it

Since: Apr 08

Twin Cities

#16 Jan 24, 2009
Mellers wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh, I'm all for self-expression, but a kid doesn't have as much rights as an adult. I guess if I were this kid's parents, I'd check with the school policy handbook to see if there are any issues.
BTW, Electric blue is going to look so awesome in your hair! I think Darwinian would approve!( ;
You do have a good point; if there was a rule in place prior to the pink hair, then the girl should face the consequences. I, myself, would challenge such a rule for the reasons I stated above. "Distraction" is subjective as is taste. I'll concede, though, that if the rule had already been in place, the girl's mother should have made her wait until summer break to sport the pink 'do.

And thanks, I'm stoked for the blue! It's been years since I've worn that end of the color spectrum.=)

Zen
Monk

Minneapolis, MN

#17 Jan 24, 2009
Local schools have moved far beyond hair color as an issue. Dress and
appearance in school has evolved over the years, thinking back to when
I was in school. Shirts had to be tucked in, pants had to have belts, boots
weren't allowed, women teachers had to wear skirts or dresses. Hair styles
have also changed alot.
Locally, student's with pink hair were an issue maybe 12 years ago. It was an issue of behavior disrupting the school setting. The pink hair wasn't the whole
story. Somebody's Mom probably got a lawyer and threatened another lawsuit
and the school district decided it wasn't worth the hassle, so pink hair was ok.
After a year or two, nobody noticed your pink hair or thought it looked goofy.
Many changes have happened that way in schools, some frivolous- pink hair-
and some very serious- Brown v. Topeka Bd of Education.
Schools are under tremendous pressure because of endless mandates from
other branches of government. Some mandates border on the absurd.
The State earmarks funding so it can only be used in a very narrow way.
The public knows schools get x number of dollars, not that those dollars are
limited to special ed or inservice training. Testing is the newest mantra and
schools don't have time to dilly dally around with "pink hair" issues. The kid
who disrupts one of the endless mandated tests needs to be dealt with now.
Just my opinion.
TheThreeRs

Saint Paul, MN

#18 Jan 24, 2009
School is a place to learn.
What did you learn by coming to school with Pink hair?
You learned that you get a suspension for breaking a rule.
Go to school.
Sit down.
Shut up.
Learn.
Go home and aggravate your parents, not the teachers, faculty and student body.
Scuba

De Forest, WI

#19 Jan 24, 2009
I guess I can understand at an elementary/middle school level why this could be a distraction. They should allow her to get a pink highlight or something. When all the kids get into high school there will be a lot of dyed hair and trendy colorful clothes.
visual noise

Saint Paul, MN

#20 Jan 24, 2009
If I as a teacher were to dye my hair pink or another eye-catching color (purple, orange), I doubt I'd remain a teacher in that school for long. But if a student can do it, why not the teacher?

Stand-outs in a class should earn that status through hard academic work, not by bring attention to themselves as if on a Las Vegas stage. There's no room for such behavior in a school setting for children.
Cindy Stainker

Saint Paul, MN

#21 Jan 24, 2009
TheThreeRs wrote:
School is a place to learn.
What did you learn by coming to school with Pink hair?
You learned that you get a suspension for breaking a rule.
Go to school.
Sit down.
Shut up.
Learn.
Go home and aggravate your parents, not the teachers, faculty and student body.
Probably the same thing everybody else was learning. The ThreeR's of course.
Cindy Stainker

Saint Paul, MN

#23 Jan 24, 2009
Natasha has also agreed to comply with the rules, she says, she will dye her hair back to "normal" if it is the only way to return. Why not any comments on that?
RipSaw88

Saint Paul, MN

#24 Jan 24, 2009
Would this have been an issue, if she were home schooled?

Think beyond the question.

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