Two African-American teens say they were denied employment at Six Flags Over Texas because of their hairstyles. Both teens were reportedly instructed to cut their hair if they wanted a job at the amusement park.
Brandon Kobe Pierce, 16, told ABC 8 that he dressed in slacks and a button-down shirt for an interview but was told the braid he’s worn his entire life was an issue. “They pulled me aside at the end of it and said, ‘You would have to cut your hair or we can’t hire you at Six Flags,'” the teen said.
Last weekend, Karis Washington said her son Kerion Washington, 17, had a similar experience, but he was denied because of his
Kerion shared his experience with NBCDFW 5. ” I just don’t even believe it. That I would have to do that just to work there. They told me that I couldn’t have dreads because it’s more of an extreme hairstyle.”
Six Flags Over Texas released a statement about its grooming policy to the news outlet. “We maintain a company-wide grooming code that includes standard uniforms for front-line team members and no extreme hairstyles such as drastic variations in hair color, locks or partially shaven heads.”
Despite the policy, the amusement park does offer exceptions. “We do permit braids and we also recognize that some team members may request accommodations to our grooming code due to religious, cultural or medical reasons. We work with those team members on a case-by-case basis to address his or her individual needs.”
Kerion’s mother offered her opinion on the grooming policy. “Why cut his hair for a season job and for $7-$9 an hour? If it was a career, different story.”