A young Black boy was not allowed to attend his first day of school because of his dreadlocks, according to a Facebook video posted by his father on Monday.
The 6-year-old boy’s father, Clinton Stanley Sr., can be seen talking to school officials about his son being kicked out of A Book’s Christian Academy in Apopka, FL.
“He can’t attend because his hair is long. He has dreadlocks,” an emotional Stanley can be heard saying in the video. “First day of school, I got to withdraw my son.
One of the staff at the school apologizes to him but says she can’t change the rule.
“I respect their rules, but it’s not right,” Clinton Stanley Sr. told the Orlando Sentinel. “Allow kids to come as they are. You are a Christian school. In the Bible it says, come as you are,” he added. “You deny a kid an education on his hair?”
The school’s administrator, Sue Book, tells the Sentinel that rules on how students have to wear their hair has been in place since the private school’s founding in 1971.
She says the backlash against the school has been unfair and that someone threatened to burn the school down.
“I’ve had all kinds of obscene, ugly calls,” she said. “It’s just hard.”
Stanley says that he wouldn’t have enrolled his son, Clinton Stanley Jr., in the school if he was aware of the rule. Staff members in the video claim that the information was in the school’s handbook.
“I can’t have dreadlocks to attend your school?, the father asks in the video, One of the ladies in the video responds with a “no,” saying that Clinton Stanley Jr.’s hair has to be cut.
Activist Shaun King posted Stanley’s video saying that a new school welcomed the boy and that he could wear his dreads.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.