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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Legalize charity haircuts for the homeless


Many people have the luxury to go to a salon and get their hair styled and cut. It’s a luxury that most people enjoy doing, especially with keeping up a good appearance. However, homeless people don’t have this luxury. They don’t have the privilege to maintain their appearance.

When KOLD News 13 shared a story about Tucson cosmetology student Juan Carlos Montes de Oca was under investigation by the AZ State Board of Cosmetology after giving free haircuts to the homeless community.

 Gov. Doug Ducey took a stand and wrote a letter to the board demanding that they stop their investigation. 

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In the letter, Ducey says that he found it “moving and inspirational” and that what Montes de Oca is doing with his efforts and talents should be encouraged and celebrated. He also said that the investigation was “outrageous.”

When Montes de Oca found out about the support from Gov. Ducey, he told KOLD news, “I love that he finds my story moving and inspirational because I find him very inspiring as well,” Montes de Oca said.

According to a Draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the AZ State Board of Cosmetology website:

“Sec. 15. Section 32-557, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

32-557.  Services for the public; restrictions

A. Students may render services to the public only under the direct supervision of an instructor.”

It’s not certain if this was proposed before the investigation started, but if so, it’s just a proposal for now.

 It shouldn’t be put into effect until it’s been approved and set in stone. Even if there was a rule about practicing outside of the school setting, it should be the school’s responsibility to emphasize this.

The point of being a student, especially in a field such as cosmetology, is to practice and be involved in the career you’re pursuing. Montes de Oca was using his passion and his talent to give back to his community. Montes de Oca has a kind heart and is very thoughtful to want to help those less fortunate than him. 

If he was breaking a serious law or rule, the board or the school should have let Montes de Oca know that what he was doing wasn’t acceptable. They should have given him at least a warning instead of automatically creating an investigation. It just wastes time and creates unnecessary drama.

The support from Gov. Ducey is the best positive outcome that has come from the investigation. 

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Having the voice of someone in an official position helps to show that Montes de Oca was not in the wrong. It shows that what he did was courageous. It’s amazing to know that Gov. Ducey truly cares about the people of Arizona and will help them when they need it.

This investigation, and the support from Gov. Ducey, should help other students pursuing their careers to always believe in what they do and to continue to make a change in their community. 

Hopefully this investigation will be remembered in a positive way, in which helping others is never a crime. There shouldn’t be any repercussions for showing kindness.

KOLD 13 broke good news about Montes de Oca’s investigation on Friday. Whether it was due to the support from Gov. Ducey or the fact that he was helping the homeless out of the kindness of his heart, the investigation against the Juan Carlos Montes de Oca was dismissed.

Follow Aurora Begay on Twitter.

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