Charter School Hairstyles

Another charter school has decided that a student’s hairstyle is unacceptable.

As reported, the Deborah Brown Community School in Tulsa objected to a seven year old’s hairstyle described as “dreadlocks.”  The school seems to have a policy banning “faddish” hairstyles.  The child seems to have changed schools.

As a constitutional matter, the threshold issue is whether or not the charter school is sufficiently public to be deemed a “state actor” and thus be bound by our constitutional principles of equal protection and liberty, even for school children.

As a nonconstitutional matter, parents and other policy makers can bring pressure to bear on a private school in some of the same ways as they can bring pressure on elected school board officials.