Military-Style Haircut Banned From School Named After Medal of Honor War Hero


McMinnville, TN is a quaint rural town of about 13,000 residents that lies about half way between Nashville and Chattanooga. They are known more for the 450 plant nurseries that generate over $300 million a year.

Located in McMinnville is Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary School, named after a young Navy hero who died during Vietnam. Towards the bottom of the school’s website, is a link to The Bobby Ray Detachment Marine Corps League, McMinnville, Tennessee webpage. On this site you can read about the life and service of David Robert Ray who was a Navy Hospital Corpsman Second Class who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism:

The President of the United States
in the name of the Congress of the United States
takes pride in presenting the

MEDAL OF HONOR

posthumously to

DAVID ROBERT RAY
Hospital Corpsman Second Class
United States Navy

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a HM2 with Battery D, 2d Battalion, at Phu Loc 6, near An Hoa. During the early morning hours, an estimated battalion_sized enemy force launched a determined assault against the battery’s position, and succeeded in effecting a penetration of the barbed_wire perimeter. The initial burst of enemy fire caused numerous casualties among the Marines who had immediately manned their howitzers during the rocket and mortar attack. Undaunted by the intense hostile fire, HM2 Ray moved from parapet to parapet, rendering emergency medical treatment to the wounded. Although seriously wounded himself while administering first aid to a Marine casualty, he refused medical aid and continued his lifesaving efforts. While he was bandaging and attempting to comfort another wounded Marine, HM2 Ray was forced to battle 2 enemy soldiers who attacked his position, personally killing 1 and wounding the other. Rapidly losing his strength as a result of his severe wounds, he nonetheless managed to move through the hail of enemy fire to other casualties. Once again, he was faced with the intense fire of oncoming enemy troops and, despite the grave personal danger and insurmountable odds, succeeded in treating the wounded and holding off the enemy until he ran out of ammunition, at which time he sustained fatal wounds. HM2 Ray’s final act of heroism was to protect the patient he was treating. He threw himself upon the wounded Marine, thus saving the man’s life when an enemy grenade exploded nearby. By his determined and persevering actions, courageous spirit, and selfless devotion to the welfare of his Marine comrades, HM2 Ray served to inspire the men of Battery D to heroic efforts in defeating the enemy. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

One would expect a school named after such an honorable war hero would embrace support for our military, as supposedly demonstrated by their link to The Bobby Ray Detachment website found on the front page of their website. The school has also honored Army Spc. Jeremy L. Brown by naming their gym after he was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Adam Stinnett is a second grader at Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary School. Adam looks up to his stepbrother Army Spc. Justin Bloodworth, so on March 8, Adam got a haircut that matches Justin’s. On March 9, Adam’s mother, Amy Stinnett, received a letter from the school’s principal informing her that Adam’s haircut is a distraction to other students and needed to be fixed.

Amy decided not to comply with the principal’s letter and ended up being summoned to the school for a confrontation with the principal. She tried to explain that there was nothing wrong with her son’s haircut and that it was honoring his stepbrother who was serving in the Army, but the principal wouldn’t hear any of that and threw down an ultimatum of fix the haircut or Adam would be suspended indefinitely until it was fixed.

Since the school policy forbids Mohawk cuts, the only way to fix Adam’s haircut was to shave his head. Amy believes a second grader with a shaved head would be more distracting than the military style haircut he had, but it seems to be acceptable to school officials.

The principal and school district officials say that they fully support our military, but that there can be no exceptions to the dress code. This is another case of zero tolerance being totally void of any common sense. It’s more important for the school to tyrannically enforce a questionable dress code and crush the patriotism and brotherly love of a seven year old boy. You have to wonder just what kind of education and lessons they school is teaching young people?

If I was Amy Stinnett, I would be talking to an attorney.

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