Student sent home for haircut
Christian Chavez of Kerrville, Texas, isn't shy about his support of Texas A&M quarterback and hometown hero Johnny Manziel's talents or his Heisman Trophy campaign.
When barber Rob "The Original" Ferrel of San Antonio, Texas, offered via Facebook to cut a portrait of Manziel into anyone's hair who was willing, Chavez leapt at the chance.
By the end of the day Wednesday, Chavez was sporting a reasonable likeness of the freshman phenom shaved into his scalp, along with Manziel's "Johnny Football" nickname and the Texas A&M logo.
Chavez, 17, got a surprise when he arrived at Hill Country High School in Kerrville on Thursday. He said he was sent home by the school's principal and told not to return until he had Manziel's likeness removed.
"I love the haircut. I'm a big fan of Johnny. My parents love it, too. They like Johnny. My older brother played with Johnny," said Chavez, who shared practice time with Manziel on the same football field when he was a freshman and sophomore junior varsity player at Tivy High School, Manziel's alma mater.
Chavez, who since has transferred to Hill Country High School, said he was told he couldn't have the haircut at his current school because it "was inappropriate for school policy. I can't go back until I get it cut out."
Chavez said he plans on keeping the image of Manziel intact for at least another day or so.
"Might as well keep it keep it tomorrow (Friday) and get it cut either Sunday or Monday. I thought I would be fine," he said. "I was surprised. My mom came and got me. She didn't like the fact they told me to go home."
A written statement from Kerrville Independent School District public relations specialist Jamie Fails said Chavez's hair style violated the school's dress code, which states: "Hair must be clean and neatly groomed. Only natural hair colors are acceptable. Hairstyles that are distracting are not acceptable."
Fails' statement said Chavez "was placed in an area of the school where he would not distract the learning of other students. He left school early today, but it was on his own accord and done at an appropriate time and in an appropriate manner" adding that Chavez's claim he was "kicked out of school" was "not true."
"The young man was told today that he needs to change his hair style so that it meets the standard of the district dress code. We want him to return to school tomorrow. If his hair does not meet the district standard, he will be placed in an area of the school where he will not distract the learning of others," the statement added. "We appreciate the young man's enthusiasm for Johnny and everyone in the community is just as excited."
Last spring, a 12-year-old junior high school student in San Antonio was suspended after having his shaved by another barber to resemble the face of Spurs forward Matt Bonner because officials deemed his haircut a distraction, as well.
Ferrel created an "MVP Portrait" of Spurs point guard Tony Parker last spring during the NBA playoffs.
Ferrel said he didn't charge Chavez for his Manziel haircut and will remove it for free if Chavez wants to make the 90-minute trip from Kerrville to San Antonio.
A similar "Rob the Original Johnny Football" haircut costs roughly $100 and takes two hours to complete.
"I cut the portrait and the name first, then I add color and use make-up to bring out the portrait," Ferrel said. "We're glad he likes it."
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