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Asinine Hair Rule

In Boonville, Missouri, at the end of last year, Boonville High School basketball player Kolby Hurt missed the first three games of the season because his coach Dick Smith insisted that the teen’s cornrows were a violation of team policy (see “Jefferson City News Tribune”). Sane people asked themselves how braids such as cornrows could seriously be considered “distracting,” as the coach maintained, but Superintendent Greg Gettings wanted to postpone a decision until the basketball season was over.

Hurt filed a lawsuit arguing that the policy violated his civil rights. A temporary restraining order allowed him to play with cornrows until the court would decide if the injunction should be permanent.

Yesterday morning, Judge Scott Wright of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri dismissed the case, saying participation in extracurricular sports is voluntary and that coaches have the right to set rules on hairdos. The judge was not shy, however, to comment on the policy itself. “This court would be remiss if it did not offer the comment that the grooming rule leveled by by Boonville against Kolby Hurt is an asinine, stupid rule,” he wrote.


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