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Hair Today, Federal Lawsuit Tomorrow: Ohio Picks Up Hair Fight

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on February 02, 2010 11:45 AM

One more battle over student hairstyles has sprouted up, this time in the state of Ohio. A mother of an 11 year-old student filed suit last week in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, over the alleged humiliation of her son based on his hair.

It might be safe to assume teachers have more important things to focus on in the classroom, but according to the facts of this suit, maybe not. According to the ABA Law Journal, the plaintiff, Amanda Anoai, claims the teacher made her son stand in front of the class, put his hair in pony-tails and then introduced him to the class as the newest girl student. Then, in case no one took her point, the teacher had an aide walk the boy around to other classes to repeat the introduction.

The Journal reports that the federal lawsuit names a teacher, an aide and a principal at the Milford, Ohio, elementary school, as well as the Milford Exempted Village School District and its superintendent as defendants and seeks unspecified damages for violation of constitutional rights and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

As noted, this is by no means the first school uproar around the very important issue of how a child looks. If you have been following the case of Texas pre-kindergartener, Taylor Pugh, you may be pleased to learn that after a months-long separation from his class and various school board meetings, a compromise has been reached. The Dallas Morning News reports that Taylor has may now rejoin his class, as his mother has agreed to send him to school each day with his hair in French braids. "He looks a little like Princess Leia," his mother Elizabeth Taylor said.

Reports say the little prince(ess) is just happy to be back with his class. But as usual, mom has to pick up the slack. It took her nearly an hour to prep Taylor's hair for class, but ever optimistic, Elizabeth Taylor hopes the process will go more quickly with practice. Finally, the undaunted mom will appeal the last decision of the school district to the state commissioner of education. "I don't want this to happen to another child," she said. Take notes, Ohio.

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