Mesquite ISD plans to pull tutor from pre-schooler with long locks

Taylor Pugh

Credit: WFAA-TV

Taylor Pugh attended Monday night's meeting with his hair in a ponytail.



Posted on January 13, 2010 at 7:59 AM

MESQUITE — Mesquite school officials say they have given the family of Taylor Pugh until January 18 to conform to the district's dress code policy or their four-year-old son will lose his tutor.

Pugh, a pre-kindergarten student at Floyd Elementary School in Balch Springs, has been on in-school suspension with a private tutor   since November.

The four year old was suspended because his long hair violates district policy. Mesquite's dress code prohibits boys from hair styles that grow past the collar.

School officials said they tried to work with the family, agreeing to let the four-year-old tightly braid his hair, but his parents refused to comply.

"This is new territory," school board president Cary Tanamachi said.  "We have never had an instance like this with a four-year-old."

The district said it will remove Taylor's private tutor starting next week.  Instead, the child will do his work from the principal's office with no instructor present, but administrators would be around to watch him.

"There are 33,000 other students in the district not receiving this treatment," Tanamachi said.

Pugh's parents said they will continue to fight for his right to wear long hair. They plan to appeal the district's decision to the State Board of Education.