September 23, 2019
Randi Woodley, from Texas, claimed that the school officials said her 4-year-old grandson's shoulder-length hair was excessively long.
In an interview with KETK, Woodley said that recently she was at a Tatum Independent School District meet-the-teacher event when staff individuals advised her there was a problem with her grandson Michael Trimble's hair.
"I was totally confused by the word distraction."
At that point, she decided to speak with Dr. J.P. Richardson, the district's superintendent, who gave her three options regarding the kid's shoulder-length hair.
"He told me that I could either cut it, braid it and pin it up, or put my grandson in a dress and send him to school, and when prompted my grandson must say he's a girl," Woodley explained.
Woodley, who's had custody of her grandson since he was four months old, promised to fight the school's dress code policy.
According to the policy, "Student's hair shall be clean and well groomed at all times and shall not obstruct vision. No extreme style or color (neon, etc…) Only natural hair color shall be allowed. No symbols, letters, or extreme designs cut in the hair shall be permitted.
"No ponytails, ducktails, rat-tails, male bun or puffballs shall be allowed on male students. ALL male hair of any type SHALL NOT extend below the top of a t-shirt collar, as it lays naturally."
"I was totally confused by the word distraction … considering it's his natural hair; no coloring, no extensions. His natural hair," she wrote.
After sharing her story on Facebook, a woman from Philadelphia named Rachel Ray inquired as to whether she could make a Change.org appeal for the benefit of Michael.
"When will the racial discrimination and injustice towards our sons, brothers, uncles, husbands, and friends stop?" Ray wrote. "Really? A four year old boy. We need to be his voice."
A movement was then begun to form. Over 9,000 individuals have signed the petition so far.