(AP) A Portland high school is raising eyebrows with its brow grooming policy: shave 'em or go home.
Some students at Centennial High School have shaved vertical lines into their eyebrows in a trend recently made popular by hip-hop star Soulja Boy. School officials say the mark looks like a gang symbol.
Centennial administrators are telling students with the lines that they can't return to school until they shave their eyebrows off. Assistant Principal Mark Porterfield said the students are not suspended, but they are not allowed in school until they cooperate.
Four students have been sent home. One returned with a bandage covering the shaved brow.
Police say gangs have co-opted the trend for their own use, with one gang's members marking themselves by shaving one line into an eyebrow and three lines in the other to symbolize 13.
"We don't dictate policy for any schools," Officer David Schmidt of the East Multnomah County Gang Enforcement Team said. "We just tell them what we see the latest trends are. This is a way for them to identify each other. In a school setting, it intimidates other kids."
Andy Gonzalez, a junior at Centennial with one vertical line shaved down his brow, was studying for a test when a security guard approached him and said, "If you're going to come to school like that, don't come at all."
Gonzalez, 17, says he isn't in a gang and shaved the lines to look cool and impress girls. But he says he'd be humiliated if he had to shave his brows off.
Centennial implemented the rules about the eyebrows after other area high schools did, but other schools say they only look for the markings of the 13 style.
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