Monday, March 31, 2014
This spring, a 9-year-old student shaved her hair in support of her best friend, who was undergoing chemotheraphy and had lost her hair. The student, Kamryn Renfro, was student at a public charter school in Grand Junction, Colorado. Kamryn's mother alerted the school in advance, but was told by the school that dress code prohibitted shaved heads and Kamryn could not return to school until her hair grew back. Under public outcry, the school buckled. Whether this case falls under a liberty deprivation or property is questionable, although I would tend to characterize it as both and as a constructive, if not actual, suspension. Regardless, it highlights the absurdity of school discipline and conduct rules, which schools insist they have a right to pass and enforce, and which courts hold that the constitution affords almost no recourse. Here's my paper on why actions of this sort are unconstitutional, even if not yet recognized as such.