HOUSTON, Texas (NBC) – A Texas school board is under fire after suspending a student over his dreadlocks earlier this week.
The student, Andre Arnold, says he has worn dreadlocks for years as a tribute to his Trinidadian culture.
Recently, he was sent to in-school suspension and told he would not be allowed to walk during graduation unless his dreadlocks were cut short.
It’s all part of the school district’s revised policy which changed following Christmas break.
The Barber Hill Independent School Board took up the issue on Wednesday at a public meeting.
Members of the community expressed their opinions on the matter, as did Deandre’s parents.
“I won’t stand for anybody bullying my child, ” said David Arnold, Deandre’s dad. “He has rights. All he wants to do is graduate,” Arnold said.
One community member chimed in saying, “Let’s stop with the dress code. This not about dress code. This is about policing black boys.”
Another community member said, “Without rules and regulations as we know them, we will face disorder. I stand with the high expectation of our district in regard to regard to the dress code.”
The School Board has chosen not to place the topic on the upcoming agendas.
As for Deandre, his mother says he won’t be cutting his hair because it’s part of who he is.