Father files lawsuit after 6-year-old son got banned from Christian school for wearing locs
Clinton Stanley, a black father from Apopka, Florida, filed a lawsuit against A Book’s Christian Academy for sending his son home due to his hairstyle.
In a video that ACLU uploaded to its YouTube channel, Clinton appeared in front of the school next to his six-year-old son C.J. talking to some teachers and school administrators asking if he could at least braid his son’s hair so that he could go to class.
However, one of the school staff told him that it was not an option as their “handbook” states that boys’ hair must be above the ear.
Despite Clinton's efforts, he and his son were sent home as he couldn’t do anything to change the school administrators’ minds.
One of the most striking aspects of the incident was that a reverend who stopped them said, “take him home and take him to a haircut.”
It was C.J. first day at school, and he was very excited about it, but things didn’t go as planned.
TAKING LEGAL ACTIONS
On November 29, Clinton announced that, with the help of ACLU and NAACP, he filed a lawsuit against the A Book’s Christian Academy.
“It’s not right for a school to take taxpayer dollars while singling out and shaming black natural hair. On behalf of my son and other black children in my community, I’m urging the Florida Department of Education to hold A Book’s Christian Academy accountable,” shared Clinton in a statement.
The school’s defense is its dress code, which states that boys cannot wear “dreads, mohawks, designs, unnatural color, or unnatural designs.”
However, Clinton considers that the policy is discriminatory and that it violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
DISRESPECTING THEIR CULTURE
After the incident, C.J. asked his father if something was wrong with his hair, something that broke Clinton’s heart. The man set clear that the problem was a school policy that “doesn’t accept my son” and doesn’t respect the culture of their students.
Clinton, who considered it was a racist move, said that he tried to shield C.J. from racism for as long as he could.
“Despite what they said, it was clear the problem wasn’t the length. They wanted our scholarship money — but they also wanted the power to control, and muffle, a child’s Blackness, the Blackness so visibly expressed by CJ’s kinky hair,” added the proud father.
DIGGING INTO A SIMILAR INCIDENT
Something similar took place at the Christ The King Parish School in Gretna, Louisiana, as administrators pulled one of the students, Faith, out of class due to her hair.
According to the Facebook post, her older brother shared, the school changed its policy without consulting the parents and banned the students from wearing hair extensions, clip-ins, and weaves.
As Faith’s family revealed, the authorities banned all those things without taking into consideration how it might affect the students’ lives as Faith’s extensions made her hair easier to maintain and it made possible for her to get into the swimming pool without having to re-do her hair every night.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans, RaeNell Houston, said that they informed all parents about the policy during the summer and before the first day of school, so it shouldn’t have surprised Faith’s family.
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