Texas school allegedly told boy to cut his hair or wear a dress
A group of Texas parents have accused a school board of instituting a dress code that discriminates against black children after one grandmother was told that her grandson could either cut his hair or wear a dress, KETK reports.
At a board meeting hosted by the Tatum Independent School District last Monday, parents held signs in protest of the dress code, claiming that it sent the wrong message to young boys.
"We shouldn’t even be talking about this at any age, because hair has nothing to do with learning," Randi Woodley told the board.
Last month, Woodley took to Facebook to express her outrage over a meeting she had with her grandson's principal and superintendent. On Aug. 12, the grandmother attended a Meet the Teacher meeting, where she was reportedly told to see the principal about her 4-year-old grandson Michael Trimble.
"I met with the principal and she told me his hair was too long that I could either cut it or keep it braid it (boys can't wear ponytails or men buns, or rat tails)," Woodley wrote. "I asked her why wasn’t my grandson allowed to wear his natural state hair ... She explained to me that it could possibly be a distraction!!!"
Woodley then asked to speak to Superintendent J.P. Richardson, who purportedly gave her three options.
"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," she told KETK.
Another parent, Kambry Cox, recalled a similar incident in which her kindergarten son Kellan was told that his hair couldn't be in a ponytail.
"My son came home, saying, 'Mom, I think there’s something wrong with my hair,'" she told the station.
Cox said, given Texas's hot weather, her son's hairstyle should not be a problem.
"With my son’s dreadlocks, sometimes they do fall in front of his face, so I felt it would be easier to put his hair up, but then that’s a problem," she said.
Richardson did not respond to KETK's request for comment.
Since the controversy, a petition has been launched on Change.org urging others not to let Woodley's grandson be "bullied into cutting his hair."
"When will the racial discrimination and injustice towards our sons, brothers, uncles, husbands, and friends stop," the petition reads. "Really a four year old boy. We need to be his voice."