Public Schools: Hairsplitting

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Somewhere deep in the psyche of many U.S. adults lurks a triggering device that raises hackles whenever a boy with long hair passes by. Public-school officials seem unusually susceptible to this reaction—and spend countless hours haggling over the length of a lad's locks.

The silliest solution to one of these hairsplitting arguments is in effect at Unionville (Pa.) High School, where a school handbook proclaims that "in a democracy, dress and grooming are dictated by good taste and pride in one's appearance" and that "a child's behavior is most often a reflection of the way he dresses." To Superintendent LeVan P....

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