Fresno Unified reviewing district dress code policy on haircuts

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Fresno Unified reviewing district dress code policy
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Review comes after a little girl missed a week of school because of her haircut.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- 8-year-old Layla Sysaknoi is full of energy. It's energy she'd normally burn off at school, but she was sent home a week ago because a teacher said her haircut was distracting.

Layla's initials are on one side while the barber cut a design on the other.

"I've been told I either have to cut it all off or I have to wait until her hair grows back completely before she can attend school again," said Layla's mother, Tara Sysaknoi. "Again, I don't think should have to if that's how she wants her hair if she wants to do that. It's not offensive, it's not gang-related."

Layla is a 3rd grader at Columbia Elementary where the sign out front says attendance is important.

"I thought it was ridiculous, I told her it shouldn't interfere with my child's education and it's not a distraction," said Tara. "It's something she's been doing since pre-school."

Over the years Layla has often sported designs on the side of her head.

The Fresno Unified dress code prohibits mohawks and unusual razor cuts, but that rule is currently under review.

Until the review is complete, Superintendent Bob Nelson says, "I have directed our schools not to enforce the specific prohibition on razor cuts as long as there's no disruption to the educational environment or any danger to students.

But in Layla's case, she has already missed a week of school. "She wants to go back to school she has told me she gets bored," said Tara.