An 8-year-old student from Florida was sent forced to get a different haircut to attend class at a private Christian school. His mother, Kiara Hudson, believes the school policies are discriminating.
Garrick Austin, a third-grader at Christian Heritage on University Boulevard was asked by the front desk clerk to change his high top fade haircut on his third day at school, according to his mother. Talking to News 4 Jax, Kiara Hudson recalled that his son was upset about the situation:
“He said, ‘The lady at the front desk called me about my haircut and said I had to cut my hair,’ I said, ‘They haven’t called me or sent home a letter, and until they do that, we won’t worry about it.'”
The next day, Garrick’s teacher sent a letter requesting the haircut and stating that, if he was to appear on school with the same high top fade, he couldn’t enter his class. “They sent me the policy, and she basically highlighted 'distracting and fad hairstyles,'" said Hudson.
For Hudson, the policy is discriminatory, and a hairstyle has nothing to do with his son’s learning skills. The concerned mother believes these incidents are a clear disrespect for her culture, and in any case, they should include all races and texture of hair on it.
“I think they should consider everyone in this policy, meaning all races, all textures of hair,” she told News 4 Jax. “Actually, think about, is this distracting the children from learning? I can understand different colored hair — blue, red — however, the type of haircut you have shouldn’t determine whether you’re learning in class or not.”
“I don’t like that you’re basically overriding my decision as a parent to cut my child’s hair,” she added.
Is not the first case of an African American boy being told to change their hairstyle in school this year. A few weeks ago, a 6-year-old was sent home from a Christian school until he removed his dreadlocks, and 11-year-old Faith Fennidy was also sent home because her braided hair violated the schools newly changed policies.
The girl, who was later revealed to be the niece of “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”’s Tokyo Vanity, had been using the hairstyle for two years in school without a problem, but in the summer, the Christ the King Middle School changed its policies.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans, in charge of all Christian schools, released the following statement at the time:
“This policy was communicated to all parents during the summer and again before the first day of school and was applied to all students. Furthermore, the school leadership worked with families as needed to ensure compliance. We remain committed to being a welcoming school community that celebrates our unity and diversity.”
The incident caught the attention of some celebrities, including rapper T.I, who called out the school for publicly "humiliating and ostracizing this young lady."
The Procter & Gamble Company, which is currently promoting the “My Black is Beautiful” campaign to encourage black women to embrace their looks with pride, stepped in to give Faith the treatment she deserves.
They paid a trip for Faith and her family to New York, where the girl also had a shopping spree donated by Macy’s in the company of celebrity stylist Tai Beauchamp and attended the “Black Girls Rock” awards.
Beauchamp, who shared an adorable selfie with Faith on her Instagram with a lengthy caption, said to BET:
“We wanted to celebrate her beauty. Braids are beautiful. We affirmed and supported her. We just poured into her. She told me she’s not going to allow this experience to dampen her spirit.”
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