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    Is it legal for a school to have a rule about hair length for male athletes and none for girls?

    Date: 05.05.14 | by Judge Tom.

    We have written previously on the subject of school rules concerning hair and thought the issue was settled years ago. However, courts are still faced with challenges by students and their parents when a school disciplines a student for breaking the grooming rules.

    A. H. was a 17-year-old junior at Greensburg High School in Indiana. He was a member of the basketball team that had an unwritten rule regarding the length of a player’s hair. The boys’ hair had to be cut above the ears, eyebrows and collar. It was meant to promote team unity and a clean-cut image. The baseball team had a similar policy. However, the track and football teams had no policy. Nor did any of the girls’ teams.

    j9sk9s (Flickr)

    j9sk9s (Flickr)

    A.H. refused to comply with the rules and was removed from the team. He and his parents challenged the rule by filing a lawsuit against the school district. In February, 2014, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the student’s favor. The court  held that since the school’s policy treated the boys differently from the girls, it amounted to discrimination based on sex and was a violation of Title IX.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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      Tue, 06 May 2014 at 08:42

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