Should These Boys Be Banned From School?

In Advocate by El Rubio100 Comments


In a seeming coincidence, one boy in Mont Belvieu, TX and another in Joshua, TX are being banned from attending school for having long hair.

In Mont Belvieu, TX, four-year-old Jabez Oates is being barred from class because his hair violates the Barbers Hill Independent School District dress code, mandating boys’ hair must be above the eyes, ears and neck. In a statement issued by the district, his mother Jessica Oates was told not to bring Jabez back to school until his hair meets school guidelines.

In Joshua, TX, nine-year-old Habib Dwabe’s mother, Faye Abunijmeh, has been told her son’s hair violates the Joshua Independent School District Dress Code, and that he must cut his hair before school starts. Habib has been growing his hair for four years and intends to donate his hair to Wigs for Kids or another charity.

According to the JISD student handbook the dress code is “…established to teach grooming and hygiene, prevent disruption, and minimize safety hazards.” In the same 115+ handbook the nondiscrimination statement reads, The District prohibits discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.


We Stand For The Little Guys

The Longhairs’ stance on this issue is, and has been, as follows:

While respecting the wishes of all parents, we staunchly believe men and boys should wear their hair however long they choose.

In the case of school policy, we firmly assert that no child, boy or girl, should be denied their education due to the length of their hair. To Habib, Jabez and his parents, we got your back.

Furthermore, we reject the notion of separate regulatory policies for boys and girls’ hair length, which not only reinforce artificial gender roles and stereotypes but could certainly be argued to be hair discrimination or even gender discrimination.

We staunchly believe men and boys should wear their hair however long they choose.

Bullying, Gender Norms and Hair Discrimination

This topic goes far deeper than school policies, from bullying, adults and external expectations of parents, to forced cutting, gender norms, kids who grow their hair for donating to charity and much more. In May we published an original independent study examining these topics.

Citing comments from moms, interviews, curated content from around the internet, outside research and our own experiences, we tackle these issues head-on, highlighting some of the key layers and revealing what is happening.

A candid examination of bullying, gender norms and selfless acts of kindness. Every parent of a boy with long hair needs to see this. #doitfortheboys

No child should be denied their education due to the length of their hair.

Our mission is simply this: to help boys with long hair, their parents, outsiders, and the rest of the world see that it’s ok to be different—and to show all the boys out there they finally have a place to go.

An excerpt from our letter to the boys:

For every bully who makes fun of you, or says you look like a girl, or gives you grief about your hair, just know there is a community of tens of thousands of men and boys with long hair right here.

They’re big and small, old and young, every color of skin, from every background. They are football, baseball and basketball players, world-changing scientists, CEOs and business professionals, drummers and musicians, action sports heros, US Presidents, courageous warriors, entrepreneurs, fashion experts, coffee roasters, custodians, architects and everything under the sun.

That’s only the short list, because there are men and boys with long hair all around the world. And they’re regular guys. Who choose to be different.

We may have nothing else in common with any of those guys…but we all have long hair. And it means something to all of us.

To show all the boys out there they finally have a place to go.

Show Your Support

Show your support by leaving a comment below, sharing this post, and by visiting both Jabez and Habib’s online petitions to change the respective school district policies banning their locks.



  1. These boys ought to be allowed to wear their hair as long as they want. I agree that forcing them to cut it short serves to enforce gender stereotypes, and that is just wrong! If their hair is long and beautiful, and they want it that way, I say more power to their beautiful little souls!

  2. That’s amazing how absurd and old the Independent School District Dress Code is. “Teach grooming and hygiene, prevent disruption, and minimize safety hazards”? Gosh… Read that for me is like going back to XVIII century and meeting Marie Antoinette. Together with parents, schools must teach children hygiene principles. That is part of the fundamental learnings. If school is unable to teach that or deal with children’s diverisity, they cannot mirror their incompetence on them, obliging children to a code that is outdated in the time we’re living and on relevant present purposes of individuality and diversity. And why the code targets only boys? That’s a real prejudice matter that cannot be accepted in any terms. These parents are right fighting for their children’s wishes and belives and the school is completely wrong and commiting a terrible mistake trying to prevent that.

  3. I am a biker, metalhead, and Native American, so I have lived my life surrounded by long haired men / boys. To hear this is very saddening. Both men and women are responsible for grooming themselves properly….. Having short hair does not make you “properly groomed” as I have encountered far too many men/boys with smelly messy short hair. A man with well kept, nicely styled long hair shows dedication, patience, self pride, and good hygene. Long hair is much more work than short. My son has long hair on top with shaved sides that we tie back or french braid with feathers and beads sometimes mixed in. He is 2 and LOVES his hair. He is just like his hero, his daddy, who is well groomed, has fantastic hygene, and has a very respectable high paying job that he works very hard at!

    Side point: Most Viking cultures also had long hair….. Vikings we’re OBSESSED with cleanlyness and we’re very vain about their appearance….. They even were there inventors of soap!

  4. My son was in a private catholic school in California from 2011-2015 that had a hair policy for boys. Hair had to be off ears, above eyebrows and not touching the collar on their uniform polo shirt. After a very bad bullying experience, we left that school in 2015 at the end of 3rd grade and my son insisted on growing his hair long. It became part of his identity. He has great hair! It became a problem in 5th grade at public school when the PE teachers told him he had to wear a headband to keep it out of his eyes (girls were not forced to wear them). He sat out a few times when he forgot his headband.

    He is now about to start at an independent middle school in Northern VA and I specifically asked if they had a hair policy. I was happy to hear that while they wear uniforms, they are free to express themselves with their hair. The open-minded schools are out there. If parents push back against the discrimination, the schools will be forced to change policies.

  5. I don’t Facebook often but this upset me something fearce to figure out the tool to repost your post to my group of longhairs. I’m an older longhair that has two longhair grandsons. They had to transfer from a private school to public because of administrators concerns for their long hair. The oldest boy never liked hair cuts and eventually mom and dad just let it flow. Made it easier for number two…

    1. Author

      Jay thanks for sharing sir. I’m glad you were inspired enough to figure out the damn Facebook thing. We especially appreciate you granddaddies out there who have been doing it for decades. Hell, I’ve only had long hair for six years. You guys are the real long hair vets and we’re honored to have you here.

      Saddening to hear about your grandsons, but that’s adversity they’ll have an opportunity to overcome at an early age. May their flow be free!

      Thanks again for writing in Mr. J!

  6. Are girls at this school prohibited from having short hair (which would also be wrong)?

    Let the flow go.

  7. I often wondering what it is with America, in some circumstances they live in the fifties as it goes about sex and what I’ve heared from a friend who live in the USA they know it very well and so good that what is happening there some Dutch will be ashamed of it. And now the hairquestion.. is the USA all soldiers or so.. I know they’ll will fight and die for their country, I wouldn’t because the more rules the more violation. Sorry guys, but sometimes I think the government of the USA is ruled by baby’s, when they will ever grow up? What a bull… that either.. you may not say shit you’ll have to say crab, that sound like religion, that is the opposit of faith or in other words: “Hypocritical!”
    My brother is a editorial member of a prison newspaper, what I’ve read is that many Americans are in jail for somewhat… it isn’t a land where I would goto. nor wanna live. In the Netherlands many prisons are closed, that is because of the ankle band. I can imagine that many Americans hates the police or the system and more and more violence wll grow, you only have to open the newspaper.

    And this silly thing about someone’s hair if it is long or short, if it is a mohawk or somewhat… how stupid they can be, what kind of harm do you do if you got long or short hair. Say it to every school: You are IDIOTS!!! Instead of whining of someones hair you rather give them real education and not the BULLSHIT CUSTOMIZE YOU!!!!!!!!

  8. Let these boys back into school. They are boys, let them be themselves . Who cares if they have long hair.

  9. I do not have children. But when I was growing up, I was not allowed to have long hair. It was short, I hated it. These boys are children. Who cares if they have long hair. It’s wrong what the school and board are doing. Let these boys express themselves. I like having my hair long. I couldn’t when I was growing up. Leave these boys alone. Let them keep their long hair. And let them get back to school.

  10. What’s wrong with this world. We support the long haired boys. Don’t cut your hair because they tell you. There has got to be a school that will let you attend no matter how long your hair is. You boys should stand up and let the hair flow, and keep growing.

    1. Don’t worry, we’re out there! I’m a middle school teacher. The length of my hair never even came up when I was being hired. I’ve been at my school for a few years now and there’s still never been a bad thing said. None of our long haired boys are hassled about it. It’s not even a thought.

  11. People are dumbasses, but y’all know that already.

    Interestingly, my son started a new high school yesterday and he has to wear his hair back and pulled into a bun. You guessed it, girls can wear their hair free flowing.

    This school, fortunately, has a Gender and Sexuality Club. In due time, my son is planning to approach the club leaders and ask them to petition the school dress code to update the gender specific rules for hair.

    Anger (and massive eye rolls that we even have to deal with this crap) into loving action. <3


    A mother with two long-haired boys who are badass rock star human beings.

    1. Author

      Hi Mica! A great way to focus our energy (not the eye roll…the diplomatic action 😉

      We’ll be interested to know how this plays out. It sounds like there is an environment where they may get a warm reception; please do keep us posted.

  12. the more kids that get kicked out of school, the better. kick them all out! these long-haired kids don’t belong in that conformity factory, anyway. long-haired men are the best men and we should be out in the world educating and being educated rather than locked up in some mind-farm

    free the children!

  13. This is blatant discrimination based on sex. This happens in schools and businesses across the U.S. The federal court has upheld that employers are allowed to dictate different hair lengths for men and women and cited social norms . These so called social norms are based on stereotypes and seek to force boys and men to conform. We try to teach kids to be themselves and nurture creativity and self expression yet archaic discriminatory practices are still allowed in schools and the work place. In 2017 it is a shame this is still a problem. I’m the past few years there has been such a push for equality and yet here we are and whether a boy at school or man in the working world we are forced to cut our hair .

    1. Author

      There’s work yet to be done H. Well-articulated, thanks for chiming in.

  14. Total bullshit..every time you turn around someone is changing something. Christmas…statues.. flags. Prayer… I’m 62 and have had long hair most of my years… there is no need of one else cares except these rule makers

  15. I stand with these kids. I bet their teachers are just bald and jealous.

  16. Hair length has no bearing on education. Duh. It must be nice that these school districts have nothing better to do than focus on hair. In my district, the school board meetings are about funding, test scores, campus refurbishment, community involvement, student participation and other “non-hair” issues. Silly us.

  17. I home school my longhair so there is no dress code(and when I say no dress code I literally mean being fully dressed is not required). There was a time that I considered putting him in a private school, and as I read through the manual I read that a boy’s hair must be above the ear lobes, I said, “nope, not happening!” Just a battle I wasn’t in the mood to fight.

    I find it amusing that the dress code speaks of hygiene and safety, etc. but when has a girl with long hair ever been required to cut it for those reasons?
    There is no valid explanation for this except for gender discrimination.
    The fact that a child would be denied access to a school and education that is rightfully theirs, because their hair covers the back of their neck, is ridiculous.

    When are we going to wake up and stop trying to make individuals, that are meant to be different, fit into the same mold? We were designed to bring diversity and character of all different sorts, we were all made with unique gifts and talents to share with one another. What purpose would it serve if we just tried to be like the next person and not allow our true selves to shine through? What are we doing to our children by expecting them to do this?

    A world that I would hate to wake up in, would be one where we are all the same.

    1. Author

      Perhaps in a more conservative day a policy like this was conceived in what the rule-makers believed to be in the best interest of the children. Today, it’s true: simply, “there is no valid explanation for this.”

      It’s just another brick in the wall.

  18. Going your hair out is a journey, a great journey at that. To have a young child be told ” your in the wrong because of your long hair”, to me is very wrong. We should helping them and not hindering them. As a Navajo – as a Human Being, having long hair should be embraced, not cut-off. Let the child continue this journey and enjoy learning at the same time. It’s the right and correct thing to do!!

    1. Are you Native American? If so id love some input into my nephews situation reguarding his hair length at school.

  19. Some adult who is cultivating a diamond in his colon shouldn’t be making rules about hair styles. I bet the boys’ peers didn’t even realize hair length was an issue until the grups started fussing about it.

  20. I live JUST south of Joshua, and I am nine kinds of PISSED that this is happening!

    I’ve been on this long hair journey for 14 months, and I pledge my voice to defend these boys!

  21. as the us constitution allows me, i wear my sword to defend them from that tyranny !!!
    in Belgium or in France, nobody should accept that kind of rules in an elementary school
    the only hair rules are edicted in the professional high schools and the military academies
    j’ ai signé les deux pétitions en souvenir de Gilbert la Mothe de Lafayette et de Davy Crockett, combattants pour la liberté aux usa et au Texas !!!

    1. Author

      Thanks for signing Chamane, and for bearing the sword! Just don’t accidentally chop your hair off ami.

  22. Firstly, humans and horses are the only two creatures in all creation which have long hair on their head, and they do so for practical reasons, namely to keep the head cool through evaporation of moisture in warm months, and warm in cool months. Secondly, there are more significant differences in human physiology to distinguish between male and female sexes than hair length. We do not live in ancient Rome, where men had their hair cropped short as a social signifier that they owned slaves who could trim their hair on a daily basis, so leave these young boys alone for God’s sake!

    1. I stand with you all.
      I will say how jealous I am of all your amazingly beautiful hair and wish mine could be so awesome 🤓
      Peace, Love and Long Hair
      ☯️ Kappi 👽💜

      1. What about health and safety is so different for boys than it is for girls? I dont see girls having restrictions on their hair due to the way it grows, how long it grows, or the way they style. It’s simply old fashioned thinking. It’s a different time and age. We have allowances for gender fluidity. Why cant our boys wether they are trans or not have hair as long as they want? More and more jobs are allowing for tattoos, piercing, and hair length. Even more so, more jobs are online. It’s time we all put our foots down and stop giving so much power to the school over our children and ourselves.

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