Hair Fight! Student Won't Cut Long Locks

By JEFF CARLTON and Lita Beck
|  Friday, Dec 18, 2009  |  Updated 7:51 AM CDT
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Hair Fight!

AP

In this Dec. 16, 2009 image made from video, four-year-old Taylor Pugh is seen in Balch Springs, Texas. The parents of Pugh, a pre-kindergarten student nicknamed Tater Tot, are battling a suburban Dallas school's decision to segregate their son because his long locks violate the district dress code. (AP Photo/Rich Matthews)

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The parents of a 4-year-old pre-kindergarten student nicknamed "Tater Tot" are battling a Mesquite school's decision to segregate their son because his long locks violate the district dress code.

Taylor Pugh again found himself facing in-school suspension on Wednesday. The Mesquite school district is keeping Taylor in the library apart from his classmates because his floppy hair falls in his eyes and extends below his earlobes and shirt collar.

All are violations of the district dress code.

Now the Mesquite ISD and the Pugh family are locked in a hair standoff.

District officials told the Dallas Morning News they will enforce the dress code, but Taylor's father told the newspaper he would move out of the district before he would force his son to cut his hair.

The Mesquite ISD's dress code has been enforcing hair length since at least the 1970s, when it sent home a 10-year-old boy because his hair touched his collar.

And the parents of a Mesquite middle school student are homeschooling their son after he ran into trouble over trendy skinny pants.

Taylor's parents said the school principal threatened to permanently suspend their son from school before setting up lessons for him in the school library with a substitute aide, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Delton Pugh Jr., Taylor's father, told the newspaper that his son "loves his hair." His mother, Elizabeth Taylor, said she offered to put her son's hair in a pony tail and slick back the front, but school officials insist the boy's hair be cut.

Pugh told the Dallas Morning News that his family has some Cherokee heritage but he is not registered as a tribal member.

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