Really? Do the educators in Texas have nothing better to do than fight against a hairstyle?
You may have noticed that Patrick has long hair. Actually, it's currently longer than mine since I just got mine cut. In fact, Patrick has the longest hair in the family. He says he wants to grow it to the floor. I rather doubt it will go that far but hey, it's hair. Hair cuts. Hair grows. You have to pick your battles and hair isn't one I'm about to pick.
The only issue with the little boy in the story is his hair. If the school is concerned that it's in his eyes or is a safety issue, they could easily request that it be pulled back and out of his face. But instead, they choose to say the following: "[S]tudents who dress and groom themselves neatly, and in an acceptable and appropriate manner, are more likely to become constructive members of the society in which we live."
Let me take this in parts:
"[S]tudents who dress and groom themselves neatly..." There is nothing in the story about the child being dressed improperly or ungroomed. He is not dirty. His hair is not uncombed.
"and in an acceptable and appropriate manner" I am guessing this is from whence the whole thing stems--"acceptable and appropriate" for the stereotype of a boy ONLY, because girls are not bound by the same rules for hair. If it is a safety issue, then both genders should be bound by the same rules. If not, then it is simply gender bias.
"are more likely to become constructive members of the society in which we live." The little boy in the story says he wants to grow his hair long enough to donate it to Locks of Love (or a similar one, they don't name the charity in the story). In case you're not familiar with them, Locks of Love gives wigs made of donated human hair to children undergoing cancer treatments. Your hair has to be a certain length to donate--I believe you need to donate 10 inches. It sounds to me like he's already showing concern for others and a desire to help them. How is that being an unconstructive member of society?