The opinion of the court was delivered by: Parsons, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The question presented by this case is whether a publically
supported school district operating under state law that gives
it authority to discipline pupils who attend its schools can
refuse re-admission to or expel from its high school a male
pupil who wears his hair shoulder length without violating some
right guaranteed to him by the Constitution of the United
It must be made clear from the outset that this is not a case
involving a revolutionary type young man, who by bizarre
attire, filth of body and clothes, obscene language and
subversive-like organizational activity, seeks to wage war
against the established institutions of the community or
nation. It is not a case involving youth commonly referred to
as "beatniks" or "hippies" or "yippies". It is simply a case of
a seventeen year old boy wearing hair substantially longer than
that permitted by the school's regulations.
Under Illinois law, there is compulsory school attendance
until the child reaches sixteen years of age, and, if he is
above sixteen years of age and is enrolled in any grade through
the fourth year of high school, he is compelled to attend
school during the regular school term. Ill.Rev.Stat., Chap.
122, Sections 26-1 and 26-2. School Boards have the duty "to
adopt and enforce all necessary rules for the management and
government of public schools of their district", and the
maintenance of discipline among the pupils in them, and in
doing so are empowered to expel or suspend students guilty of
gross disobedience; and teachers and other certificated
educational employees are directed to maintain discipline in
the schools. Ill.Rev.Stat. Chap. 122, Sections 10-20.5,
10-22.6(a) and 24-24.
A careful examination of the Chapter on Schools of the
Illinois Revised Statutes (Chap. 122), and particularly of
those sections relating to the powers and duties of school
boards, reveals no express or implied authority in the exercise
of which a school board may deny admission to a child who
otherwise is authorized by Illinois law to attend school.
In this case, the plaintiffs, David Miller, a minor, and his
parents and next friends, Ben F. Miller III and Alice Miller,
brought action against the Board of Education of School
District #224 in Lake County, Illinois, defendants, asking for
an injunctive order compelling the school board and its members
to admit David Miller to the Barrington Consolidated High
School, and preventing them from suspending or expelling him
from that school subsequent to his admission.
Jurisdiction is asserted under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1343,
2201, 2202 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has
jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter of this
suit. My findings of fact and conclusions of law appear in this
For the past six years, Barrington Consolidated High School,
located in Barrington, Illinois, a suburban community located
northwest of Chicago, has had a dress code regulating the type
and manner of students' clothing and appearance. In the school
year of 1968-1969, the enforcement of this code was relaxed,
and, along with other disciplinary matters, was turned over to
the students. During that period, there was an increase of
complaints by teachers and parents to the School Board
concerning an apparent lack of discipline among students. In
addition, the Board noticed a higher rate of truancy during the
period of relaxation.
During 1968-1969, David Miller allowed his hair to grow until
at the end of the school year it was one-inch or less shorter
than the shoulder length it was at the time of the hearing in
this case. Although the length of the plaintiff's hair during
the last school term exceeded the standards set out in the
dress code, David was allowed to remain in school until the end
of the term at his mother's request, because it was thought by
her that dismissal or suspension would have an adverse
psychological effect on the boy.
Two weeks before the day set for this year's enrollment, the
School Board circulated to every prospective student a document
entitled, "1969-70 Student Handbook, Barrington Consolidated
High School", which sets out information, maps, school songs
and organizations, a list of faculty members, and a number of
regulations to be in effect this school year. Among the
regulations, there is a section concerning dress of students,
which reads as follows:
The appropriateness of dress is a subject on which
opinions can and do vary. We wish there were no
need for a dress code but it is believed a
minority of students would take advantage of this
privilege. For this reason, it is asked that
students assume responsibility for the way they
dress and do not wear extreme style or fit.
Dressing the way we please is a privilege. Please
do not take advantage of these few requirements.
A. Dress pants, slacks, pressed khakis, or
levis shall be worn.
1. Pants shall be worn at the waist, not low
on the hips.
2. Belts should be worn at all times except in
the case of pants without belt loops. Built-in
belts are acceptable (such as continental
A. Shirt tails must be tucked in and shirts
properly buttoned. Sport shirts, if square
cut, may be worn in or out.
1. White T-shirts are considered underwear and
therefore are not acceptable unless covered by a
2. Sweatshirts or other shirts displaying the
name or emblem of a non-campus club, group, or
business, are not acceptable.
A. Feet should be properly covered. Boots are
not to be worn during the school day because of
health reasons and floor damage.
1. Socks are to be worn at all times for health
2. Taps that create a noise or property damage
are not to be worn (unless required by a