The school board has voted to ban "extreme hairstyles, unnatural hair colors, or makeup that is disruptive or does not allow direct eye contact" for all students in the distric.
What's the big deal? Disruption is the main issue, said school spokesperson Chris Patton to Fox 35. Fancy eyeshadow or pink and purple hair interfere with the educational environment, he argues, by drawing attention away from learning and provoking teasing.
Stranger still is the argument that extreme beauty choices can be physically dangerous: "Mascara, eye-shadow, and even the bangs if they are blocking the eyes -- where you can't see a students eyeballs, that's even a safety thing," says Patton (although we cannot fathom how much mascara you'd need to wear for it to block your eyeballs).
The counter-argument, of course, is freedom of expression. Students sounded off for local news channels like Fox 35 and News 13 about their desires to make their own style statements.
"To me, it's like they're just sitting there, trying to make us who they want us to be. We're kids," student Michael Willeby told News 13.
Even some parents agree, noting the "slippery slope" of such rules. "Where do you draw the line with hairstyles? If a boy wants to have long hair, are they going to say well 'Boys have to have short hair. Girls have to have long hair'? Where is that line going to be drawn?" wondered Lori Sokoloski, a Lake County parent.
If the ban is approved by a final vote to take place on August 22, Lake County students can be disciplined for their unconventional style choices with suspensions from extracurricular activities.
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