Makeup Suspension

California high-schooler claims he was suspended for wearing makeup

A ninth-grade student suspended for wearing lipstick and eye makeup has accused officials at a Southern California high school of discrimination. Sixteen-year-old James Herndon says the five-day suspension imposed Monday by administrators at San Bernardino's Pacific High School was unfair because females are allowed to wear cosmetics on campus. Herndon says his black lipstick and red eye makeup express the Wiccan religious beliefs he shares with his mother, a priestess in the neo-pagan faith. He contends the suspension violates his constitutional right to free expression. Linda Hill, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino City Unified School District, declined to comment on the case, citing student confidentiality laws. His mother says Herndon, who is repeating his second year at the school, has worn makeup since he enrolled. Herndon says he won't stop the practice.