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Parents Sue Greensburg Junior High Over Basketball Team Haircut Rule

Jan 7, 2011 – 12:57 PM
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Greensburg Junior High School (Greensburg, Ind.) maintains a strict guideline for its boys basketball team: hair must be cut above the players' eyebrows, collars, and ears. If it is not, the player will be asked to remedy the situation or not play. OK, seems simple enough.

Well, no, not OK, because the parents of one boy whose hair did not meet the not-so-difficult guideline have decided to sue, claiming that this rule violates the young man's constitutional right to have a shaggy haircut.

Patrick and Melissa Hayden filed a lawsuit last week seeking a reversal of the rule, the court's statement that the rule is unconstitutional, and any damages the family may accrue.

"What they're trying to do here is teach (their son) a life lesson, which simply is that you fight for what's right," the Haydens' attorney, Ron Frazier, told the Chicago Tribune. "This is classic David versus Goliath, and they want their son to understand that."

I may be confused, but isn't what's "right" -- at least at this age -- following the rules of those in authority? This is a petty barb thrown at The Establishment, and it's pretty much a waste of everyone's time.

Not surprisingly, there is precedent in these types of lawsuits. A Missouri court threw out a similar case on the grounds that extracurricular activities are a privilege, not a right. The Greensburg School District will argue that same sentiment. An attorney for the school district cites that the boy wasn't denied education or kicked out of school.

Bottom line: If you want to play basketball, cut your hair.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Filed under: Sports