DANIEL: Step Away From The Hair Dye!

Carol Daniel

As a mother, I keep a watchful eye over how my sons are treated by other adults. Today, I have something to say to the Grafton, Illinois father who is waving the constitution at school board members claiming, “my baby girl’s constitutional rights have been violated.”

Dear Mr. Chris Hartshorn,
“Change your daughter’s hair color back.”
Carol Daniel

This comes after Hartshorn’s daughter and several others were kicked out of school for wearing some combo of red, blue, pink and purple streaks in their hair. One boy is pictured with a blood red mohawk. The board has told them they can return only after they return their hair to a natural color.

Hartshorn says no one at the school said anything last year although he knows the district has a dress code that covers hair and clothing that might be deemed disruptive. But this he believes (along with the ACLU which reportedly will represent him for free) is a clear cut case of free speech.

Schools must control the classroom. Any distraction must be dealt with and that includes a blood red mohawk and blue hair!

Why are we telling these students they can say and do and wear anything they want to? I can’t wear blue jeans or t-shirts to work. I actually have a dress code that I must abide by if I want to stay out of trouble. What will the Hartshorn children do when they hit the job market?

“My daddy says I have free speech.” You do my dear and we are offering the job to someone else.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Share your comments below.

Check out Carol Daniel’s “Something To Say” every Wednesday at kmox.com/carol.

More from Something To Say
  • Don Pritchard

    Used to have something called common sense. My parents wouldn’t have let me out the front door with a Mohawk no matter how “cool” it looked, let alone a blood red one. Why, because they had common sense. When I was a child I needed my parents to be a parent, NOT a BFF. Parents who are so afraid their children might not like something they do should remember some of the things they tried when they were kids and ask yourself is that what you want your children doing? I can guarantee I would not want my grandchildren trying some of the stunts I did when I was their age.

  • Justin

    I love the article Carol, keep up the good work.

    As for my two cents, let me begin by saying I think these kids look ridiculous and would never advise doing that to a child. But, should the public schools step in and stifle creativity? I lean towards no. And let’s not jump into hyperbole about the kids’ futures. Most likely they’ll grow out of their desire to have colored hair just as 99% of other children do.

    Every generation has its ridiculous fashions and most make their way into public school. This isn’t gang related or the Trenchcoat Mafia, just childhood innocence. Best of luck to the ACLU.

  • Chris Hartshorn


    First off let me begin by saying that only one of these children are mine. Next let me say that all of these children are very respectful and very well disciplined. Being raised in a military family and even attending a military acadamy in Stutgart Germany, I am a very strict parent. Now as to “waving the constitution at school board members claiming, “my baby girl’s constitutional rights have been violated.”” I believe the very same right that the school board is violating, is the very same freedom that you as a member of the main stream media believe should also be protected. Not only is it the freedom of speech but also freedom of the press. I guarentee that if I or the goverment were to come in and unplug your mic and tell you that you couldnt voice your opinion you would be screaming about your constitutional rights as guarenteed to you under the First Amendment of the US Constituion. I highly doubt that you would just roll over and say “Yes Sir”. As to them having to understand that there are dress codes at work… These are kids and none of them have to worry about entering the job market any time soon.

    As to what I am teaching my Daughter and the other children by sticking up for their rights….. your right they are learining something. They are learning that they have certain rights which “shall not be infringed upon”. They are learning that it is ok to stand up for themselves and protect their rights. Besides that I believe the Preamble of the US Constitution states “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and SECURE THE BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY TO OURSELFS AND OUR POSTERITY, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” and not “We the select few People of the United States…”

    As to the Rules in the student handbook…. yes they have a dress code most of which i support. I have even been addiment that if the district wants to go to uniforms, I will support that decision 100%. But As it has been ruled in Tinker v Des Moines (1969) “A public School Student does not shed his constituional rights to freedom of speech or freedom of expression at the schoolhouse gates” And in Massie v. Henery (1972) “It is unconstitutional for schools to regulate a students hairstyle”.

    So you are telling me that just because Superindentant Ed Settles wants to violate the law its ok??? Are you aware that this is the same man who, in 2009, Challanged the Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing to permit a 5 year old autistic boy with other medical disorders to bring his service dog into the class room. Yet, another blatent violation of federal law. This man feels that he is above the law and becomes very hostile when challanged.

    However if you would like to discuss this whole issue on the air, Feel free to ask Charlies staff for my phone number. I will be off work on Thursday August 25th and will be more then willing to talk to you.

    Chris Hartshorn

  • Susan

    I am surprised that a school system cannot be smart enough to more carefully pick their battles. With all the problems in the schools now days, serious issues (drugs, gangs, sex, violence) with students, underpaid teachers, uninterested parents, etc., why would you try to enforce old fashion rules. Fashion evolves, kids struggle to establish their identity, good grief folks. If you wants the kids respect, you have to give them respect.

  • Chris

    Great article Carol,

    I think an issue here that is being missed is that children need to have some respect for the school system (good and bad) as it trains them for what they will run into in the work force. In both environments you may have the freedoms this country provides and if you go to court you may win, but facts of life are what they are and conforming and respecting dress codes is learning about life.The parents need to understand that as much as they defend their kids right to expression. My daughter was into Goth until she tried to get a job.

  • Mike Cundiff

    To the parents of these kids……

    They are kinda a reflection of you. Go back to your trailer park, get your food stamps, get a nice bottle of 2010 Boones Farm, slip on your camoflaged tshirt and pants and do whats best for your kids.

  • Chris Hartshorn

    @ Mike,

    Now you are out of line. See what you dont know about any of these parents is that we all have college educations. I myself have 4 college degrees ranging from emergency medicine to emergency disaster and management. The difference between someone with an education and yourself is that by getting an education, i am aware that my children have rights and what it takes to defend them.

  • Misty

    Every right comes with great responsibility. Schools teaches us to be a good & responsible citizen. If we are to live peacefully, there are rules that needs to be followed. In this case, schools have the authority to impose a dress code policy. Children at this stage learn how to follow rules & regulations. I don’t think the kids hair color here conforms to the school’s dress code policy. Complete freedom is impossible. There’s always limitation. I recommend this beautiful Hair Salon for those who want to have their hair done.

  • Brit


    You sounds like a judgmental, ignorant person. Children are going to watch to play around with creativity and style, because they are shaping their self image. If you limit what they’re allowed to do, they are going to rebel. As a parent, I encourage my daughter to experiment with things, as long as they don’t harm others or herself.

    As far as colored hair being a distraction? Hell, if that’s the case, public schools had better separate girls and boys, because they’re much more of a distraction to each other than a bit of blue hair.

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