Kindergartner sent home from school for long hair
A 5-year-old boy from Seminole, Texas, is back in school today after he was sent home from the first day of school Monday. Not for misbehavior -- but because of his long hair.
Malachi Wilson told KOSA: "It was a sad day. It's got lots of kids."
His mother, April Wilson, said, "After we had enrolled him, he was excited. He was ready to go. Every day it was the question, 'Mom, are we going to school?"
Malachi Wilson's mother, April, told KOSA her son is half Native American and is a member of the Navajo Nation. Once she provided proof of this to the school district, it decided Malachi could return to school.
A writer for a Native American culture blog wrote in 2012 about the tradition of keeping hair long. Part of the blog reads: "The physical cutting of hair is a manifestation of the loss of a loved one, a loss of a relationship, and a loss of a part of self."
District officials for F. J. Young Elementary said they sent Malachi home because his hair was against school policy.
The district's dress code is pretty clear, saying boys can't have hair that's longer than the collar of their shirt and that "ponytails are not permitted."
What makes this even more interesting is the school's mascot is a Seminole, clearly depicted with long hair.
Malachi's story is similar to another that occurred in 2008.
The Needville Independent School District in Texas told kindergartner Adriel Arocha, who is part of the Lipan Apache tribe, he could either conceal his long hair in his shirt or wear it in a braid. He was suspended after refusing.
According to Opposing Views, after the district refused to give Adriel a religious exemption from the dress code, his family took the issue to court. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ended up ruling in his favor in 2010.
Malachi's mother told KOSA she hasn't ruled out the idea of filing a discrimination lawsuit against the district.
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