Thursday, October 06, 2005

Fight Fascism

Fascism is everywhere. It is a mental disease.

This summer one of the school boards I cover was revising its' student handbook. They do it every year. The Principal made his recommendations and they all were approved. While going through the polices, I came across a policy on “improper hair.” I asked Mr. Principal, “just what is improper hair in a high school?” as I instinctively adjusted my ponytail and fingered my beard. There were a lot of objectionable passages in the section on Student Appearance, and perhaps three reasonable ones. The entire section was merely a list of things which are prohibited. This one hit home for me, as it always does.

j. The wearing of hair in a manner that is disruptive to the learning environment

Disruptive to the learning environment?
Mr. Principal explained: If some teenager were to come to school with his hair died all red and up in spikes, like some punk rock loser, it could really distract the other kids. Why, they’d be saying “look at Jimmy’s hair!” “Wow, what a cocksucker!” “My what a big boy you are” and other such expressions which could interrupt the carefully structured indoctrination (ahem, learning process) which often does not allow a free moment or a free thought to go unpunished.


Furthermore, why the hell is it Jimmy’s fault if he’s got some redneck classmates that can’t deal with the fact he likes the Sex Pistols and the Ramones and wants to grow up to be a heroin-addict rock star? Isn’t that the problem of his classmates? Aren’t they the ones being disruptive? All Jimmy did was sit down at his desk. They’re the ones that gawked and ooohed and ahhed.

And further-furthermore, if you just deal with a few turned heads for one school day, people are gonna get over it. Jimmy’s red, spiked hair won’t be news on Tuesday. Everyone will have seen it already. If they don’t, it simply proves they are the ones with the problem, not Jimmy.

That’s what I would have said to Mr. Principal, but I was wearing my reporter hat. When the hat is on, I reluctantly keep my opinions to myself.

The other side of the coin, is that oftentimes the fascist school decisions are a response to a fascist and idiotic civil law system. I’m sure school districts have been sued because the hair of some other boy named Jimmy “disrupted Johnny’s little learning environment.” Consider it a chance for Johnny to learn about the real world, where shit does stink and you do get burned when you touch a hot stove.

I’m sure some of the assholes that sued won multi-million dollar awards. Just put me in a room with THOSE jurors.


“I went on a low social-cholesterol diet. No more fat heads.”
-Utah Phillips


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