Cosmetology school brushes aside students' protest about conditions 20 strike, but director says equipment is operational

May 22, 1998|By Paula Lavigne | Paula Lavigne,SUN STAFF

In a protest of working conditions they claim are hazardous and crimping their education, about 20 well-coiffed students went on strike yesterday at a downtown cosmetology school.

Wearing white hairdresser uniforms, the students -- most nearly finished with the 1,500-hour training program -- stood outside the Baltimore Studio of Hair Design at 18 N. Howard St. as clients filed in to have their hair styled.

The students' complaints include inadequate ventilation, moldy bathrooms, dangerous stairs and broken or malfunctioning equipment. Students said hair dryers are held together with glue, and senior Daunique Johnson said she received an electrical shock from one of the dryers Tuesday.

Tuesday, about 35 students took their complaints to Pete Lebowitz, the school's financial aid director. Lebowitz said he would have been more responsive if he had been given time to act before the students went on strike.

He said the equipment is old and worn, but operational, and that the school is cleaned every night.

Students pay $5,200 for the course, which has an enrollment of 115. Federal grants cover most of the tuition, Lebowitz said, and students pay the balance after graduation.

Pub Date: 5/22/98

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