Something About Long Hair In Texas
We’ve been publishing stories about grooming codes in Texas schools for years, from Habib, Jabez and Cole, to DeAndre, Kieran, Newt and many others. While the issue has raised legal questions and prompted warnings—including a letter from the ACLU to hundreds of Texas school districts—it’s unclear how many have re-examined their dress codes.
Luke is the most recent that’s come to our knowledge, but for every story we hear there are other boys and young men who are simply forced to cut their hair.
Growing To Donate
Luke McCorkle was seven years old when his sister was sick and hospitalized for a week. Visiting her, Luke noticed child patients with no hair. Asking why, his mom explained the kids were sick, and their treatment made their hair fall out.
He asked, “Momma, I have lots of hair, can they have mine?”
From that moment Luke continued growing until his first hair donation in 2020. He realized he couldn’t help all the kids without hair, but decided he wanted to help as many as he could by growing, donating and repeating.
Attempts To Meet The Grooming Code
WISD Student Handbook
Attempts At Diplomacy
Returning from winter break in January 2023 is when the real trouble began. Luke was warned that the braids and headbands would no longer be tolerated, and that his hair length was violating the school grooming code.
Luke wrote a letter explaining his desire to help children and their families, and to set an example of service to others.
In another effort, Luke’s family wrote and proposed an exception to the grooming policy which would allow boys, under strict and specific conditions, to grow long hair with the express purpose of donating to charity.
While some members of the school administration were understanding, trying to be solution-oriented and accommodating, Luke’s family often heard, “it’s out of our hands,” “it’s hard to make policy changes during the school year,” and, “we’ll consider rule changes over the summer, you can participate.”
Detention, In-School Suspension, Threatened Expulsion
Despite repeated attempts and various approaches, Luke was sent to detention every day, during lunch and break periods and for 30 minutes after school. After two weeks of detention, he was placed into in-school-suspension (ISS).
Finally in February, the school threatened to have Luke removed from class via law enforcement and escorted by police officers to an alternate education facility—at which point he could be denied readmittance to his school.
Under the apparent threat of expulsion, Luke gave in and cut his hair.
Rule Changes Without Input
Going into seventh grade in the 2023 school year, Luke is faced with the same choice: cut his hair, or pursue his goal of growing to donate and face the consequences.
Throughout their family’s experience, Luke’s parents have supported Luke in his decision. Having seemingly exhausted all courses, they are now pursuing legal action.
To support the cost of legal fees, and to explain everything they’ve done in support of Luke, the McCorkle family has set up a GoFundMe. We urge you to visit, better understand the situation directly from his parents, and support Luke’s fight to grow his hair—even if you can only donate $1.