In the ACLU of Nebraska's second year, we looked into a situation at Westside High School in Omaha involving three students who were asked to stay home until they cut their hair.
"As soon as their appearance is such that it is not distrcting, they can come back," said a Westside administrator, according to the Omaha World Herald.
This certainly wouldn't be the last time the ACLU had to defend people's right to have their hair how they want. Even more disturbing, many government agencies have had discriminatory practices around hair that has targeted Black women, Native Americans, and other minority groups. The idea that apperance may be "distracting" is often used by school administrators to deny students a right to wear a religious headscarf. It has also been used to deny transgender students the right to wear clothing that matches their gender identity.
Regardless of the decade, a student's apperance can become the subject of a debate. And regardless of the decade, the ACLU is here to stand with students and protect their right to express themselves.
2016 is the 50th anniversary of the ACLU of Nebraska. We will feature several memories from our five decades of defending freedom in the Cornhusker state here. Do you have a favorite memory? Share it with us!