Everingham Family History Archives©2001 "Onaway Outlook"TM Presque Isle Newspapers Inc.
No.34 The Onaway Newspaper Wednesday Aug 22, 1984
Letter to the Editor Page 4
Disappointed with decision
To the Editor:
It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter. Both Marv and I were hoping that Kevin would eventually decide to move here and finish school in Onaway. Kevin is Marv's 16 year-old son. He has been here all summer working in the store. We were so excited when he said one day that he wished he could go to school here this fall.
It didn't take me long to call Mr. Holmes' office and set up an appointment for he and dad to see what classes he could get. When they got back I found out that Kevin would have to shave his mustache off in order to attend Onaway High School. Kevin said he would not.
This really got me angry. I went to the school board meeting last Monday night. I explained the whole story to them and also told them that Kevin is an A and B student, taking college prep classes. He also plays football, basketball and is especially good in track. He has been on the wrestling team too. Kevin is a fine young man with perfect manners and has made many friends here in Onaway.
I asked the board how his having a mustache affects his learning. I also asked why teachers are allowed to wear them, and students can't even have a neatly trimmed mustache.
I was quickly informed that teachers have "paid their dues" and are therefore "entitled" to wear them. They also said that this same dress code has been in effect for 20 years! It has worked for 20 years and there is no need to even think about changing it. In other words, they want to live in the '60s era. Hair styles have changed, dress styles have changed, beards and mustaches, in my opinion, are just fine if kept neatly trimmed. Get your heads out of the sand, guys! This is the '80s!
I have spoken with an attorney and found out that a Judge has declared Onaway's dress code to be unconstitutional back in 1975 or '76 and that a few students wore mustaches that year. He also said there could be some money involved if we decide to pursue this.I don't want to sue anyone. It is a matter of principle. At this point, Kevin has become very disgusted with the whole situation and will return downstate for his junior year.
So why am I writing this? I guess I'm just upset that the board of education listens to you, but doesn't hear. They didn't even consider that maybe, just maybe our dress code needs to be updated to fit with the '80s.
Onaway's loss is Central Montcalm's gain, and I feel very sad for it.
Page 11, Advertisement for Gene Everingham's Onaway Discount Store,
where Kevin worked summers. Marv and Tarry Everingham, managed
the store at that time and later Edith and Joe Prentler managed it.