Education: Hair-Raising Punishment

Hair-Raising Punishment

The euphemism is "alternative education setting," but "solitary confinement" would be more accurate. For more than six weeks, school officials in Bastrop, Texas, have sentenced eight-year-old Zachariah Toungate to a 10-ft. by 13-ft. isolation room all day. His crime? Refusal to cut his 7- in. ponytail. Zach is taught by substitute teachers but is banned from his gym classes and from eating in the cafeteria. He says he has nightmares that the walls of the classroom will close in and crush him.

Zach's parents Stanley and September Toungate have appealed to the school board, but it has refused to halt the...

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