Oregon School tells Kids Shave Off Eyebrows

@nova1945 (1614)
United States
April 30, 2008 9:01am CST
According to the Associated Press a high school in Portland, Oregon told some students in Centennial High School they can't return to school until they shave off their eyebrows. Some students have shaved vertical lines into their eyebrows in a trend recently made popular by hip-hop star Soulja Boy. School officials said the marks look like a gang symbol. One line is shaved with a single vertical line and the other with three vertical lines, supposedly representing the number 13. Assistant Principal Mark Porterfield said these students were not suspended, but they were not allowed in school until they cooperated. Do you think this is appropriate action on the part of school administrators? How humiliating would that be to your teenager if they just shaved these lines to look cool in the latest fashion trend?
5 people like this
7 responses
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
30 Apr 08
OH HELL NO! if that happened with my kids at their school I would fight it tooth and nail!! As much as I understand the whole fear of gang association thing particularly here in the U.S..I'm sorry but if a generally good student does this for "cool factor" whats the big deal AND lets face it..anyone who waxes or tweezes their eyebrows KNOWS the hairs grow back in fairly quickly so I would say the best solution is for the school to send out a letter to all the parents saying that from this point on it is not allowed..
3 people like this
@nova1945 (1614)
• United States
30 Apr 08
Good idea about the letters. I know kids come up with some wacko "fashion trends" and the more shocking it is to adults the more they like it. But I can't imagine making them do that in order to return to school. Maybe it is a gang sign, I don't know, but there are so many of them that they'll always come up with another one. And seeing kids with shaved off eyebrows is supposed to make them blend in with the others how? Seems to me the shaved eyebrows would become a sign in itself. Here is the lik to the story, I forgot to add it: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24371345/?GT1=43001
1 person likes this
@wickedangel (1636)
• Dominican Republic
30 Apr 08
I must admit nova that I was a bit shocked by reading the title but then I read the rest of your message and understood why the school is asking them to do it. It is like the first time kids came to school with earrings - we weren't allowed them until we were 16! Then of course there were the nose piercings... it is a shock at the beginning for the school but after a while I'm sure that they will allow the students to do it. It will be incredibly embarrassing for the kids if they have to shave their eyebrows! I wonder how old the kids are? I sort of agree with the school to a point. You have to ensure that everyone is more or less dressed the same and that they are not wearing gang colours etc. Oh well, they are kids they will hate it for the couple of weeks that they won't have any eyebrows but I'm sure they will grow back quite quickly. LOL Thanks for sharing this with us nova.
@nova1945 (1614)
• United States
30 Apr 08
I do understand the school's concern on this, but it seems like there should be a less invasive way to get their point across. Maybe notify the parents that beginning next season this will not be tolerated and define the consequences. The school year is almost over for this season. At least that would give every kid a warning and if they choose to do it anyway then they are choosing to pay the price. These are kids ranging in ages from 15 to 18 on average. I know they want to be "individuals" and make their own statements, but let them know beforehand that life is about choices and there is a price to pay for their choices.
1 person likes this
• Dominican Republic
1 May 08
I totally agree with you nova. I'm a bit lost on grades and things and when school starts/finishes. But if they are that age and they have almost finished the term then let them be and as you say let them take a letter home as a warning of what will happen if this takes place next term. Absolutely agree with you there!
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Apr 08
Unfortunately, a lot of the things or trends youths are sometimes negative. And there are times when a trend comes out that is not meant to be violent or gang-related at all but being that we are in dangerous, sensative times, we must be careful of what we choose to follow. I would personally hate to see my son without eyebrows......not a nice look. Maybe if the principal would have said for them not to do it again and to allow their eyebrows to grow back would be better.
2 people like this
@nova1945 (1614)
• United States
30 Apr 08
Yes, or even make them wear little bandaids over them till they grow back or something a little less drastic would be better.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Apr 08
School officials all feel a over riding need for control. If you do your job and control behaviour in school gangs are not a problem. The problem is to many people have come to believe kids rights come above disipline. Parents are the ones to control the attire of thier sublings not the school. Just the same as I at 68 at the time had to force schools in my area to obey the law.
1 person likes this
@nova1945 (1614)
• United States
1 May 08
I think it's just their own fear talking. They actually believe they are protecting the kids by not allowing "gang" stuff in their school. Guess what? It's there anyway. What they need to do is teach tolerance and alternatives to violent problem solving. Welcome to Mylot, Curtiss.
@lvaldean (1612)
• United States
30 Apr 08
Well lets see.....schools are responsible for our children and their safety for the majority of the day. There are certain signals that public school administrators search for that appear to be ones that would signify a dangerous trend or a gang affiliation. These include specific clothing styles, colors, even items of clothing. They might also include tattoos, body piercings, hair styles. Why not eye brow shaving? As a parent why should we not look to school administrators to define the standards for student appearance? What is the issue? When my youngest son was in High School (Public) the school had a dress code that included hair length for boys. The policy stated where on the body pants could be worn (no low riders), that shoes had to be tied, no tee shirts, and hair for boys had to be at or above the collar. If boys had long hair they had to put it in a hair net during the school day. My youngest son had hair to the middle of the back. He was very angry at this rule. I didn't care I bought him sissors and a hair net and gave him a choice. He choose the net, by the way. There is nothing wrong with a certain amount or conformity if it keeps young people safe during the school day. There is nothing wrong with a certain amount of conformity if it keeps them focused on what they are their for! They aren't there to be "cool" they are their to learn and become educated. They are their as a first step to become productive members of a society that is failing due to lack of educated members.
@nova1945 (1614)
• United States
30 Apr 08
I understand what you are saying lvaldean. But those rules and dress codes were established already and both the parents and students knew what they were before starting school. I'm sure they weren't just sprung on them one day without warning. We try to teach our kids that life is about choices...good ones and bad ones. In order to prepare them for adulthood they must learn the principle of cause and effect. You say your son chose to wear his hair long and then was given another choice after that one. Cut it or wear it in a hairnet. He was responsible for making the choice and living with the consequences. Which he did. A good lesson. But he wasn't forced to cut it or don't come back. There is no decision making in that. Just my opinion. I think they could have found a better way to handle the situation and still teach the kids how to think and make their own decisions.
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
30 Apr 08
I think it is appropriate. I am sure they broke school dress code by having those symbols in their eyebrows so they have to make some kind of change.
@nova1945 (1614)
• United States
1 May 08
I agree, assuming this was clearly mentioned in the dress code. But if not, then add it for next semester and notify the families of a zero tolerance policy and what the punishment will be.
@Hatley (164640)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Apr 08
sorry but I sort of agree with the school officials in that they do not wear gang insignia of any king in school. we have in a town about ten milesz away gangs that roam the streets and drive by shootings thatoften kill innocent people so why have lethal gangs and kids in school aping these hoodlums? no shave off the stupid marks and use eyebrow pencil. i have no sympathy with kids making gangsters their role models.
@nova1945 (1614)
• United States
1 May 08
But they really haven't come out and said there is any gang affiliation with these kids. Maybe there is and that does need to be nipped in the bud, just not as a knee-jerk reaction. Set the rules and a time-frame in which to comply. Then let the kids make their choices and face the consequences of a bad choice. Just my opinion.