Friday, January 23, 2009
Kindergartener Wins Court Battle Over Long Hair
From today's ABA Journal
'If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.'
Henry David Thoreau
A kindergartener in Texas may continue to wear his hair long, a federal judge has ruled, apparently finding that the school district's policy of requiring the child to conceal his braids and isolating him in special classes when he didn't do so violated his constitutional rights.
The father of five-year-old Adriel Arocha is a following a native American religious practice by having the boy wear long hair, as he himself also does, reports the Houston Chronicle.
"Adriel’s father, Kenney Arocha, who is part Apache Indian, says that he considers his hair sacred—not to be cut except during major life events, such as the death of a loved one," the newspaper explains.
The American Civil Liberties Union joined with Arocha in the suit, which resulted in a temporary injunction being issued against the Needville Independent School District policy in October followed by a permanent injunction this week.
Hey, the kid apparently read Thoreau at a young age. More children should express this kind of individual freedom. In fact, so too should more jurists.