Mother claims school is asking that her 6-year-old son cut his dreadlocks
A Texas mother challenges the school who demands that her son cut off his dreadlocks.
Tiffany Brown's 6-year-old son, Jonathan attends the Spring Valley Elementary School in Hewitt, Texas, and before the winter break, she received a strange request from the school.
The little boy brought home a flier of the Midway Independent School District’s dress code policies, with the portion on hairstyles highlighted in yellow.
Thanks to @erindonnelly @yahoolifestyle— RogerBrownBooks (@books_roger) January 9, 2019
for sharing this with the world. Open dialogue is needed about this. It's happening all around us. Don't be silent and don't conform. This is unconstitutional!https://t.co/GkqOwziHPQ pic.twitter.com/ARIOPvsddE
"My 1st grader was asked to have his hair cut before returning back to school on Jan. 8th! #notmyhair pic.twitter.com/Qk2fhFy6jL"
AN ORDERED HAIRCUT FOR A 6-YEAR-OLD
Jonathan, who is African American, was told by school officials that he had to cut his dreadlocks.
The dress code policy states that “hair must not be lower than the bottom of the ears or collar in the back,” and a handwritten note instructed Brown to “please cut by Jan. 8th.”
Retweet, so this won't happen again!— RogerBrownBooks (@books_roger) January 5, 2019
This is the note the school sent home in my son's backpack. I will not cut his hair. He does not want it cut, so why should I cut it? How does his hair affect his ability to learn? #notmyhair pic.twitter.com/kv5e9EOSaY
MOM CLAIMS POLICY IS "RACIST AND GENDERED"
Brown points out that the short hair policy applies to boys only, and is gender as well as racially biased. Dreadlocks have become a symbol of African American pride, indicating the embracing of their African heritage.
"DREADLOCKS ARE CULTURAL EXPRESSION, NOT FASHION"
Brown states in her several tweets that dreadlocks are part of the African culture that was denied to African Americans who were forcibly enslaved and brought to the United States.
“Dreadlocks have been a symbol of beauty and strength for many years. During slavery, everything was stripped from my people. Now, this is happening."
Dreadlocks have become a symbol of African American pride.
SCHOOL OFFICIALS RESPOND
Midway Independent school district officials released a statement declaring that the hair policy isn’t racially motivated:
“The policy is established to teach grooming and hygiene, prevent disruption and minimize safety hazards. Even when the policy has incrementally evolved through revisions over time, the length of male students’ hair has been a subject of periodic debate over several decades."
The officials further declared that any parent who disagrees with the policy may submit a request for an exemption to the dress and grooming standards.
Read more on Twitter Amomama USA.
The New Jersey high school wrestler who was forced to cut his dreadlocks is still being victimized by school referees' "unrelenting fixation' on his hair," lawyer claimshttps://t.co/V0ObhVPHIw— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) January 10, 2019
HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLER ORDERED TO CUT DEADLOCKS
The prejudice against dreadlocks isn't restricted to the Midway Independent school district.
Like Jonathan Brown, Andrew Johnson of Buena Regional High School in Atlantic County New Jersey was forced to cut off his dreadlocks.
On December 19, 2018, Johnson, who is a wrestler, was ordered by a referee to cut off his locks or forfeit the match.
In a more recent incident, a referee told his coach that the young man would have to cover his hair before wrestling.
Johnson’s lawyer Dominic Speziali wrote a letter to the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights alleging blatant racial discrimination and requesting an investigation into the incident.
In a related story, a New Jersey referee is under investigation after forcing a high-school wrestler to cut off his dreadlocks before the start of a match.