Report: Suit filed over team's hair rules
The parents of a former high school basketball player have filed a lawsuit in federal court in Indiana asking that his high school team’s haircut policy be declared unconstitutional, the Indianapolis Star reported on Monday.
The 14-year-old was kicked off the team after refusing to cut his hair to comply with team rules, which require boys to keep their hair short.
School district officials have said that the boy has to play by the rules because there is no constitutional guarantee to play ball or be involved in any other extracurricular activity.
According to the lawsuit, coach Stacy Meyer wanted both the high school and junior high teams to have a “clean-cut” image which is why they have to keep their hair above their ears, eyebrows, and collar.
The school added that hairstyles that “create problems of health and sanitation, obstruct vision, or call undue attention to the athlete” are all reasons for dismissal from the team.
Attorneys for the school district said a 2003 federal court ruling on this same subject leads them to believe they are in the right. In that case, argued in Missouri, the court said the hair policy that allowed a coach to dismiss a player with cornrows was “an asinine, stupid rule.”
Yet, the judge in that case said participation in sports are a privilege and so hair policies do not violate players’ rights.