Long hair lawsuit dismissed; judge rules 'without prejudice'
Late last year, Robert and Linda Conway, the parents of Eureka Springs Middle School student Bobby Conway, sued the school district for $110,000.
They said the district had violated their son's rights under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1983, the Arkansas Constitution and the Arkansas Bill of Rights.
The school was accused of violating the law in denying Conway the right to play basketball because he had long hair.
The courts had previously held that discrimination in interscholastic athletics constituted "discrimination in education," because no person, on the basis of sex, can legally be excluded from participation in any educational program.
Girls' athletics have no hair length requirement.
On Aug. 4, Judge John Lineberger dismissed the case "without prejudice" in civil court, following an agreement by the school district that hair length "would not be a criterion for player eligibility."
To dismiss "without prejudice" means the matter could be taken up again if the district were to again discriminate based on hair length.
The Conways have appealed the decision.