WYLIE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – More parents have stepped forward after a Wylie ISD father and son went to the school board and alleged discriminatory dress code policies when it comes to facial hair. They expressed it’s unfair male students with facial hair are required to shave while other students can break the dress code rules with dyed hair or facial piercings.
Cameo Harvey is a mom to a senior at Wylie. A year ago, she wrote a three-page-long research paper with reasons why male students should be allowed to have facial hair. She noted it is a form of self-expression and teaches personal hygiene. In that report, she included court cases involving facial hair policies and religious and medical exemptions.
“I’ve done research also on Abilene ISD, which of course allows facial hair, and then, of course, I looked at ten other cities of approximate same population within the state of Texas and looked at all their dress codes and none of them require a shaven face,” Harvey shared.
She held on to the report for a while, but after her son was placed in-school suspension for refusing to shave, she submitted an official grievance against Wylie High School. A formal complaint that will be looked into by the district.
In a statement to KTAB/KRBC, Wylie ISD said “The Wylie ISD dress code is reviewed and established annually before the upcoming school year. Administrators and WISD School Board Members hear the concerns about our facial hair policy and will review and discuss this policy as well as all of our student handbook policies this summer.”
Despite this, Harvey said she wants the school board to take action now.
“I told them if it’s physically impossible to change it now, then at least suspend the rule and quit getting kids in ISS for something that is so natural,” Harvey added.
Casey Oliver, a dad to a Wylie Senior, said it’s unfair other male students can express themselves through makeup or painted nails, but his son and other students are unable to do the same with facial hair.
He advocates for this issue and even made t-shirts to spread the message.
“Right now, they’re saying ‘Well, these kids can do this because it’s their freedom of expression’ but then you have another group of kids, you know, to them their freedom of expression is being able to grow their facial hair which is a naturally occurring thing,” Oliver shared. “Honestly, the school board just needs to call an emergency session and deal with it”
Oliver said he plans on filing a grievance and encourages other parents to do the same in hopes that Wylie ISD addresses the policy, sooner rather than later.