In response to what’s become a full-blown controversy over a haircut, Director of Schools Bobby Cox says no school in the system prohibits military haircuts.
Cox sent out a press release Wednesday specifically stating, “Neither Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary, nor any school in Warren County School District, prohibits military haircuts.”
The statement comes three days after an article in the Southern Standard where local mother Amy Stinnett said she allowed her son to cut his hair in what she called a “high and tight,” a basic military cut. Stinnett said her son was threatened with school suspension by Bobby Ray principal Monti Hillis due to the cut being distracting to other students.
The story has sparked outrage with several people calling the Standard in support of the student. This angry reaction has led to extra armed officers on the Bobby Ray campus and at last night’s School Board meeting.
Cox refused to comment specifically on the situation, calling it an “internal school matter.”
“Due to the confidential nature of this incident, which addresses a specific student and on advice of counsel, we cannot comment on the specifics of this incident and the investigation we have conducted internally. This is an internal school matter and the administration of the school district has been advised to address it as such from this point forward,” he said.
Stinnett says she hasn’t been contacted by anyone from the school about an investigation.
“No one has called me,” said Stinnett. “How can you have an investigation into this and not talk to the parent?"
Cox says the School Board allows each school to set its own dress code. There is no system-wide policy.
“However, Warren County School Board policy, JCBF-Dress Code, does not specifically address or prohibit any hair style. The policy does allow each individual school to make guidelines appropriate for their particular school. These guidelines are provided to each student and his/ her parents via a specified dress code in the student handbook at the beginning of each school year. Neither Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary, nor any school in Warren County School District, prohibits military haircuts.”
An online controversy has some individuals claiming the haircut looks more like a mohawk and not a military cut. Stinnett says she has two sons and while one had a mohawk, her son Adam had a military cut.
“I’ve tried to address that online,” said Stinnett. “I have two sons. I think people are getting them confused. My other son is a year older than Adam, he attends the same school and his hair was in a mohawk. I shaved his head and understood why I had to do that. My son Adam was the one with the high and tight cut. I don’t understand why a military haircut wasn’t appropriate.”
The press release continues, “The Warren County School District supports all branches of the military, as well as those who have served and currently serve. We are extremely proud that Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary was named in honor of a true American Hero! On March 12, 2015, the school commemorated Bobby Ray by hosting a reenactment of a military funeral for students by the Bobby Ray Detachment Corps League in the school gym.”