Texas Student Held from Graduating Because of Hair Length
(Screen Capture: YouTube.com/SSeals3)
A Texas high school is embroiled in controversy after telling a student he wouldn’t be able to participate in graduation later this year if he didn’t cut his dreadlocks.
According to local media outlets in Mont Belvieu, TX, the controversy began after DeAndre Arnold, a student at Barbers Hill High School, was told he would have to cut his dreadlocks to a certain length in order to walk at his graduation this year.
Arnold, however, refused to cut his hair, citing his Trinidadian culture, according to The Hill.
The school's policy was challenged by local activists when the issue was addressed during a Barbers Hill Independent School District [ISD] board meeting Monday, which coincided with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Gary Monroe of the United Urban Alumni Association called the controversy a “black and white issue.”
"DeAndre [and] his family should not have to go through this. But I expect it from a board that has zero diversity,” he said, according to KHOU. He also accused the school of being in “violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as it pertains to religious beliefs."
The school's superintendent, Greg Poole, pushed back against criticism linking the policy to race, noting that, “There is no dress code policy that prohibits any cornrow or any other method of wearing of the hair.”
“Our policy limits the length. It's been that way for 30 years,” said Poole.
Naturally, Arnold's mother said the family is threatening legal action if the school doesn’t allow her son to walk.
WIBC host Tony Katz:
"There are people who actually went down to the school board meeting and pleaded with the school not to make an exception. What are they doing? If he's wearing a sign that says 'F-Trump or F-Hillary,' I get it; that's an issue. The length of his dreadlocks?
"This school board is insane, but not to be outdone, the activists have gotten themselves involved now and attacked this from a race perspective. It's not a race issue. What, you don't think this policy applies to a white girl with hair down to her knees? Making things racial when it's not necessary ruins everything.
"Just get rid of the rule; it's really, really easy to do."
Click below to hear Tony's full commentary.