Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Taylor Pugh, a four year old known to friends as "Tator Tot," has been suspended from his pre-kindergarten in conservative Balch Springs, Texas. His crime? Having long hair. His hair length violates the school district's dress code so the tot has been put into isolation.

Tator Tot does his work alone, while his classmates play and work together. He still has regular work, says Mesquite Independent School District spokesman Ian Halperin. "We expect students ... to adhere to the code of conduct."

According to the Houston Chronicle, the boy could face additional suspensions. "On its Web site, the district defends its code, saying 'students who dress and groom themselves neatly, and in an acceptable and appropriate manner, are more likely to become constructive members of the society in which we live.'"

"They kicked me out that place," said Taylor. "I miss my friends."

What are they teaching this little boy? His parents aren't budging, and we say good for them.

In our humble opinion, this whole case reeks of horseshit--something they should know plenty about in Texas. The upstanding citizens, people who supposedly love America and freedom and all those beautiful words have, are acting like cowards and bullies. We're surprised these battles are still being fought, even in ignorant red states. Perhaps someday these conformists who call themselves "educators" will realize students should be judged by their character, efforts, and performance in the classroom, and not hair length. Or for that matter skin color, religion, and place of origin. That's written down somewhere, isn't it?

When I grew up, uptight schools fought against kids wearing long hair and "hippie sandals, anything that smacked of non-conformity. They lost the battle when the numbers became too great and the kids finally refused to go along.

In Balch Springs, Texas, so much for the Land of the Free, but maybe there is a Home of the Brave...at least the home of one brave little guy. In this "enlightened age," when we gallivant around the globe in the name of Freedom, and espouse a love of Liberty at every turn, perhaps the latest battle for the individual will be be won by an unlikely hero named Tator Tot.

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