Kiara Hudson, a mother from Jacksonville, Florida is claiming a private Christian school discriminated against her 8-year-old son, Austin Garrick, by forcing him to get a haircut to be able to attend classes last week.
According to News4Jax, the third grader at Christian Heritage Academy was reportedly sent home on his third day of school because of his high top fade. The hairstyle allegedly violated the school’s dress code.
“Last Thursday, they sent home a letter explaining if I didn’t cut his hair, he couldn’t return back to school,” Hudson said. “They sent me the policy and she basically highlighted ‘distracting and fad hairstyles.'” She also said, ” I think they should consider everyone in this policy, meaning all races, all textures of hair.”
The dress code policy states:
Hair must be clean and neatly combed. For boys, length should be above collar, mid-ear, and above eyebrows. Hairstyles should be appropriate and consistent with good grooming and in no way a distraction to instruction. Fad hairstyles featuring different colors, unusual figures or designs cut in the hair, or ponytails on boys are not acceptable. Hair styles which are short in one area and long in another are not acceptable. Hair styles which draw attention to the student or cause them to stand out are not acceptable. Caps and hats are not to be worn inside the buildings.”
There has been an influx of stories involving Black children being sent home because of their hair, including one girl in Louisiana who was expelled from middle school over her ‘unnatural’ hair.
Hudson said, “Actually, think about, is this distracting the children from learning? I can understand different color hair — blue, red — however, the type of haircut you have shouldn’t determine whether you’re learning in class or not.”
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.