Tomball student says school forced him to get haircut

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Student says school forced him to get a haircut, Kevin Quinn reports. (KTRK)

A Tomball Memorial High School Senior says the district is discriminating against male students by not letting them wear their hair as long as females.

Mickey Cohen, 17, has been through two days of in-school suspension and claims school officials threatened to keep him from walking at graduation if he didn't cut his hair.

"I'm not a bad kid. But because of hair I've been put in ISS and left out of all my classes," Cohen said. He calls the requirement discriminatory, saying "In my mind it is. It imposes a rule on men but not women."

Cohen is right in that the student dress code spells out specifically that, for male students, "When combed, their length should not extend below the bottom of a dress collar or the top of a t-shirt." It does not specify the maximum length for female students, stating only that hair for any student should not be "...styled in any way that is distracting to the learning environment."

His father, Yigal Cohen, claims the school district is causing the distraction by making an issue of his son's hair.

"Bothers me. Bothers me that that's what they're going to focus on with a straight "A" student," he said.

District officials say students are required to sign a form at the start of the school year saying they will abide by the student code of conduct.

On Monday, Mickey Cohen recorded video just outside the school as his mother cut his hair. That video has been viewed over 180,000 times already on Facebook.

The teen says he'd worn it in a bun every day before school officials complained. He wants to know how they would know he's in violation of district requirements if they never had him take his hair down to measure it.

He gave in so that he could be sure to take all his finals and to walk at graduation, but he's filed a grievance with the district and says the fight isn't over.

Tomball ISD says Cohen's argument is moot because part of the student code of conduct also requires complying with directives given by school personnel.
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