Monday, January 28, 2008

Suspended for Blue Hair

The Barrie Examiner - Ontario, CA
26 Jan 2008

School policy leaves Barrie boy feeling blue; Sent home after dyeing his hair for hockey

Posted By TRACY McConkey

Posted 1 day ago

Old-fashioned team spirit went up in a bluish smoke yesterday when a Grade 7 student was sent home because he had dyed his hair blue for his Barrie hockey team's playoff games.

"I guess I'll take one for the team," quipped Adam Zussino, 13, a Grade 7 student at St. Catherine of Siena School in Barrie, who was told to go home after his principal had a look at his bright blue hair.

Zussino and his peewee 'A' teammates dyed their hair blue for the team color to start the playoffs began.

"We were shocked," said his mother, Brenda Zussino. She and her husband went to school yesterday morning with Adam to explain to principal Mario Melchiorre why their son was a little off-colour.

"He was very nice, but he said Adam can't come to school," she said. "He said if the school allows Adam to have blue hair then he has to allow punks, emos and gangs to wear colours. I think that's ridiculous. We're talking about team spirit and the great Canadian sport."

While Adam is not officially suspended from school, he is not allowed to come back until his hair is brown. Or blond. Or black. Meanwhile, teammates who attend other schools were met with cheers of support when they went to school yesterday.

"My teacher loved it," said teammate Cameron Russell, 12, who attends Pope Jean Paul II elementary school, which is also a Catholic school. "He said it's good for team spirit."

A dress code for St. Catherine of Siena states: "Students shall not have extreme colours and styles related to certain subcultures that are not in keeping with Christian values."

But Zussino says she believes team spirit is exactly the kind of Christian values that should be encouraged.

"I don't remember reading anything in the Bible that says God doesn't like blue hair," she said. "These are dedicated kids who do their homework and get up in the dark at five in the morning to go to practise."

She says some of the team parents are so upset they wrote letters to Don Cherry.

A spokesperson for the Simcoe-Muskoka Catholic District School Board said the dress code was written by the parents of the school, and it's not up to the principal to change the rules.

"Hair colour is a concern to parents, because there are a lot of different styles related to gangs and off cultures, and that's not something parents want to see," she said. "The code is very clear, and it has been met by the parents with overwhelming support."

Adam's parents say they will allow him to do his schoolwork at home for the playoff season, rather than back out on his team.

"I live for hockey," Adam said. "I didn't know I was doing anything wrong."

Parents of the rest of Adam's team say they will be coming to tonight's game at the East Bayfield Community Centre wearing blue wigs.


Anonymous said...

The kid knew the rule... people complain that schools are unsafe and allow anything, then freak out when they actually enfoce a rule.

Anonymous said...

"The Rules"???
Garbage. This is some administrator at that particular school that doesn't have the brains to use some common sense. God Bless Religious school's sense of write or wrong. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

this kid is a beauty...thats what hockey is all about the team spirit, my team is doing blue mohwaks for playoffs and if my school suspends me, then ill enjoy the little holiday while my teams in the playoffs

Anonymous said...

"The kid knew the rule... people complain that schools are unsafe and allow anything, then freak out when they actually enfoce a rule."

Wow hooray for them for suspending a good spirited kid. I guess that's one less school shootout to worry about.

Anonymous said...

I may not have much to say , I am in adams class. When he came backto school EVERYONE gathered around him like he just died . Like seriously its blue hair . ONE our principle should have WAY more sense ... which must of got knocked into his head beacuse he sent us home with a note that said the next interview for parents to attend ... there will be a vote weather to take this ridiculous rule off . OR u can keep it . Adam still sits in out class and our teacher asks if he is dieing his hair back . He says no . He will keep it till it fades . He sits in our class with his winter hat on all day to hide his blue-ness.