Union Grove Parents Hope To Transfer Son Because Of Hair Dispute - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/11/07-Union Grove

Union Grove Parents Hope To Transfer Son Because Of Hair Dispute

With ponytail still intact, John Michael's family still believes what should be cut, or at the very least trimmed down, is the policy for male students' hair.

"He was in Pre-K last year and it was not an issue," said John's mother Christy Caviness.

It would be in closed session when she and her husband got the chance to express their grievance to the school board.

"The one thing we asked to do was to please justify his hair. How it was a danger or distraction to other students. [The board] flat out told us that they cannot justify it," said Christy.

But minutes later the board made clear where it stands.

"I make a motion to deny their grievance," said UGISD Board of Trustee John Hargrave.

"I have a motion by John Hargrave to deny the grievance," said Board of Trustee Randy Davis. "Second? By Doug Steger. All in favor? It's unanimous."

A unanimous decision by the school board to uphold a policy that's been in place for years. A male students' hair must fall above the collar.

Whether it's cut or left as is, John's parents say their child will be the one to make that decision, and so far it's been to keep his ponytail.

"We're not using him as a toy or a symbol for our own fun. My 5-year-old son does not have a voice to this school board. So I will be his voice," said Christy.

A voice the Union Grove School Board disagreed with over a ponytail that's made the loudest impression thus far.

John's parents have kept their son from going back to Union Grove Elementary because they didn't want him in in-school suspension.

After last night's decision, they're now visiting nearby school districts to possibly transfer their son to another school.  A process they hope to have completed before the end of the week.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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