There are many problems that have been facing our school systems for years. I would like to mention a few of them and then bring up a completely non-issue that has been made into an issue unnecessarily. The issues are teen pregnancy, drug addiction, and gang membership. The non issue is blue hair. You can re-read that if you would like as it is still there — blue hair. It is a non issue that was made into one by a young woman being suspended because her hair was dyed with Kool-Aid.

Teen Pregnancy — this continues to be an issue in this country, although we have fortunately not reached the point of teen sex roulette. My wife Elizabeth told me that when she was growing up, teenagers got pregnant partially because they were bored and had nothing more fun to do with their time. When we have teachers and leaders telling children that the best way to avoid pregnancy is to be abstinent and actually expect them to follow through with it.

Next, let us consider drug addiction. When I was growing up we were taught by Nancy Reagan that we should just say NO to drugs and that would somehow solve our problems. Well much like the abstinence solution the real issue here is that adults just tell children that they need to say no to drugs without explaining why the problems associated with drug addiction far outweigh the limited highs that a person gets from using the drugs. It may even be helpful to have children meet people whose lives have been destroyed by drugs.

Gang membership is far too tempting to teenagers because they quickly find themselves feeling isolated and want to fit in somewhere and for too many teenagers, the gangs are the most accepting out of any groups they encounter. The problems lay with what happens when the teens are members of the gang and they suddenly realize that they are headed for a lifetime in prison and attempt to get out of the gang. I have read that people have died trying to get out of gangs. The other real issue is that we need to present staying in school and getting a respectable job as a positive alternative to risking getting shot every day or badly beaten.

Now for the hair dye “problem” — one that I find has been blown way out of proportion. The school is claiming that had they allowed the girl with the blue hair to enter the classroom that she would have caused a disturbance and that nobody would have been able to concentrate on their schoolwork. That may have been the case if it were 1955 and it was completely unheard to dye your hair a blue color of Kool-Aid. In 2012 it is not unusual to see people with metal spikes in their hair and colors of every shade in the rainbow and then some — sparkles and glitter galore is nearly normal.

I feel that it is really time to check out our priorities and try to figure out where they should be — should they be in persecuting a girl who innocently dyed her hair or in the more serious problems like drug addiction and teen pregnancy?

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