Clovis Students Forced to Cut Hair on the Spot

December 10, 2008 9:56:15 PM PST
A Valley parent says a Clovis High School Administrator crossed the line when he forced several male students to cut their hair before a school performance.The boy's mom says her son is owed an apology, but the district says the Vice-Principal was following dress code policy.

Ryan Harper said, "I knew my hair was getting towards the point but I figured I could get it cut in Christmas break ? it was just a week off."

That appointment with the scissors came a lot sooner than Ryan Harper had planned ... The 14 year old Clovis High School student says 20 minutes before a band performance he and several other boys were told by the Vice-Principal their hair was out of dress code and handed a pair of scissors.

Harper said, "I didn't have a mirror so I just grabbed my hair and hoped for the best sort of."

Ryan's mother feels the students should have been given prior warning ... Or more time to rectify the violation.

Ryan's mother Tina Durbano said, "He's been in class all day no teachers said your hair is out of dress code you need to cut your hair or anything like that. They didn't call parents and say your kid is out of dress code you need to trim his hair before the performance tonight."

Tina Durbano says the Vice-Principal intimidated the students by warning that they either cut their hair or miss the performance and have their band grade drop by two grades.

"I mean he basically threatened them-- this is what you're going to have to do or you'll lose two letter grades," said Durbano.

"I remember asking him if I could have a day or I could come into his office tomorrow and he said no- its right now," said Harper.

Clovis Unified School District Spokesperson Kelly Avants says that according the district's dress code-- during regular school hours students are given 24 hours to correct a violation. But during extra-curricular activities students must correct the problem before participating in any performance.

Durbano believes the hair policy discriminates against boys.

"They say its a distraction, and to me ... I see these girls with short skirts on and thats more distracting to a 14-year old boy than another boy with long hair," said Durbano.

Ryan who had to cut about an inch of hair around his ears, says he didn't feel comfortable going to school today with his new look.

"I don't think it affected my performance, per say, but around my friends, I just made a joke out of it so I wouldn't feel embarrassed," said Harper.

His mom says this is no laughing matter she believes the vice-principal crossed a line.

"The guy definitely needs to apologize to my son and to the other boys that were involved and some sort of disciplinary action needs to be taken on him," said Harper.

School district officials are looking into the incident?But their spokesperson says the Vice-Prinicipal was following policy when he told the students to cut their hair ... And says the kids were not threatened with the grade drop. Parent Tina Durbano disagrees.

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