09/24/15 by Rennie Detore
Jakobe Sanden is just your average seven year old student, a second grader in a obscure elementary school in Utah.
That was, until he got a haircut.
Sanden sported a mohawk in school, and he was subsequently sent home because the haircut was deemed too distracting for the other students. The principal, Susan Harrah, told the parents of Sanden that the haircut "could" be a violation of the student handbook.
"Could," Ms. Harrah or "is?"
The difference between the two is extremely important, because if the violation is legitimate than Sanden being sent home has a little more legs than if it was a judgment call. The report goes on to say that the school handbook didn't mention anything about hair as an issue, so Principle Harrah made the call to send Sanden home.
Throwing more fuel on the fire, Sanden's mom and dad say the mohawk is a tribute and pays respect to his Native American heritage and culture, only making Harrah's knee jerk decision more questionable.
The truth is Sanden did indeed have a mohawk but, based on the photo, would hardly be considered something that is distraction. It was not spiked, nor was their any hair color or other changes to the hair. In fact, the only reason you could tell it was a mohawk is because the hair on the sides and back of his head (aside from the mohawk design) were gone. There wasn't anything distracting about the mohawk other than that technically is what it was.
For Sanden, he was back in school quickly after the principle asked his parents to get a note from their tribal leaders, which happened almost immediately. The school brought him back quietly and sheepishly mostly because it had to know that this story, which was picked up nationally, was more of a black eye for the school rather than some sort of progressive discipline that will be mirrored by other schools or lauded as a decision that was the kind of enforcement that needs to happen in schools across the country.
This is a classic example of schools and administrators trying to fight the good fight but picking a battle that isn't worth the time of day. Being ultra strict is fine as long as the reason behind it makes sense for the greater good of the school and the children within it.
A haircut, mohawk in this case, isn't going to change the landscape of the educational system. Instead, it is a non story that should have never really hit the news, because that is exactly what it isn't.
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