A SCHOOL ordered a four-year-old boy to get a hair cut or “wear a dress and be a girl”, his grandmother claims.
Randi Woodley said she was called in by the school, only to be told that Michael’s long hair was a “distraction”.
Michael’s hair has been deemed a ‘distraction’ by his Texas school, his grandmother claims[/caption]
Randi Woodley says she was told to braid her grandson Michael’s hair and pin it up – or ‘put him in a dress’[/caption]
When she spoke to the superintendent in rural Texas, Randi said she was told to either braid her grandson’s hair and fashion it in a bun, or cut it off, reports CNN.
Randi, who has legal custody of Michael, said she was also told she could put the boy – known as Tink – “in a dress” and have him tell fellow pupils “he’s a girl”.
She told the news station: “I did not understand why my grandson’s ponytail is any different than a little girl’s ponytail.
“And why is his ponytail more of a distraction than him in a dress? So I politely told him that from that day forward, I would get my grandson’s hair braided. I would pin it up, but I would fight that dress code with everything in me.”
Randi braided Michael’s hair – but she says the school further criticised her for not pinning it in a bun[/caption]
Randi and other parents are now challenging the Tatum Independent School District to change its dress code policy, arguing that the current rules discriminate against African-Americans.
The school’s online dress code states that “no ponytails, ducktails, rat-tails, male bun or puffballs shall be allowed on male students.
It adds: “All male hair of any type shall not extend below the top of a t-shirt collar, as it lays naturally.”
A 6,200-strong Change.org.petition says Randi was further criticised when she put Michael’s hair in a braid – because it wasn’t “pinned-up”.
Parents have shown support for Michael, with some attending a board meeting on Monday with posters saying “is my hair distracting you?” and “I stand with Tink.”
While fellow parent Kambryn Cox, said her son Kellan faced the same sort of discrimination at the school.
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She explained: “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 [too].
“I teach him to be his own individual, and I don’t think he should ever feel insecure,”
The school and a spokesman for the superintendent declined to comment when asked by CNN.
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