Over the past three and a half years during which I have attended this magnificent institution, I have heard many a student complain about the policies that the school has with regards to the length of boys' hair. It must be said that high school students from all over complain about many things regarding their schools, and school in general. Most of these complaints are of no real substance and are merely voiced to either make conversation or simply to climb up the popularity ladder.
This particular argument, however, has captured my attention as I think that when it comes to this subject, the majority of the school population - the students - have a strong case. However, to be taken in the least bit seriously by the people who matter, the student body has to acknowledge the opposing argument and find a way to persuade them that the students' case is strong enough to be considered over theirs'. This is why I have decided to, in as non-biased a manner as possible, look at both sides of the argument.
The school's main argument against any hair cut that does not make the wearer look like a cue ball is that it fits with our uniform. They do have a point in saying this: if you take a look at most institutions that require uniform, there are hair regulations as well. There is no deying that short hair does make us look... smart.
Another reason for the rules about hair is that the school does not want its students walking around with hair so long that it borders on unhygeinic or even disturbs learning.
Fair enough, these are two valid points; maybe there should be rules regarding hair, but are such strict ones necessary?
Yes, our short, neatly trimmed hair does go rather nicely with our uniforms. However, I'm sure that with a bit of effort we would look just as neat, if not nicer, with long hair. Many people like to express their individuality through their appearance and through how they wear their hair. I think if students were able to do this the people in our school would actually relate to each other on a more meaningful level: many students feel self-conscious and are therefore afraid to be themselves because of the way they think that everyone views them. Much of the time this fear is brought about by something as trivial as how they look. Giving people the freedom to wear their hair the way they would like to, could help them overcome this self-consciousness and give them the confidence to be themselves during school.
Looking back on Leonard's article on Chapel and how the reason for attending Chapel may just be the school's attempt to try and create a good public image, could the reasons for strict rules about hair not be for the same reason? I think that visitors to our school would appreciate sending their children to a place where they can have a general sense of belonging and be allowed to express themselves rather than seeing their children limited to routine and, let's face it, somewhat old fashioned rituals of wearing uniform and having to shave their hair before the start of every term.
In my opinion, there should be no regulation length for our hair, as long as looks neat and smart it should be allowed. Teachers should, of course, retain the authority to decide whether or not we need a haircut, but this decision should not be taken on the length of the hair alone. The rule should simply state that the students' hair should be presentable, however long they choose to grow it.
Of course I am aware that this will cause a lot of conflict as students will complain if they are told to have a haircut whereas their longer-haired friends may not have to. Yes, we would have to figure out a few ways to establish fair criteria for having to have a haircut. It would be more difficult to establish than the strict rules that we have now, but in my opinion, it would be worth it.
While this may be considered a somewhat trivial subject, it is important that all matters being aired are discussed thoroughly and that every individual is free to join in on the discussion.