Photo credits: Twitter/ksatnews
A 4-year-old boy Jabez was rejected at Barbers Hill Kindergarten Center in the Houston area and was told that he could not return until he gets a haircut. He is from Texas and local media reports say that he was sent home from school because his hair length has past his shoulders.
Jessica Oates, 25, Jabez’s mother said she tried to placate the school officials by putting her son’s hair in a bun before taking him to school last Monday but the boy wasn’t even allowed to get off the car because it was a violation of the school’s dress code. This meant that Oates couldn’t make it to work that day and had to call in for a day off her job since she had to take care of her son.
She said she won’t cut her son’s hair. “It’s not an option,” Oates told Chron.com on Tuesday.
“It’s part of my child.”
— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) August 22, 2017
Oates took her concern to Facebook this week and asked support from other parents. She also plans to take the matter at the school board meeting in September.
“When I signed the handbook, I was informed that I could bring a letter stating that it could remain long for cultural and religious reasons. I apologize I didn’t realize the district was going to recant [its] statement and kick my child out,” Jessica Oates wrote on Facebook Monday morning. “Why in the world would I worry about my son standing out? If anything he can stand out for his wonderful little personality. It’s the community that will treat him as a pariah, as far as I’ve seen, as well as your school district.”
Oates is part Cocopah Indian and considers long hair a symbol of strength, added that she will “never stop fighting for my child to be educated here.”
Jabez is trying to follow the school’s dress code although he still is confused. The boy hasn’t had his hair cut since he was born.
“My son likes his hair. He doesn’t understand why he is not allowed in school over something so trivial.”
On the other hand, Barbers Hill Independent School District said that they stand firm on their rule.
“Our local elected board has an established policy based on community expectations, and Barbers Hill administration will continue to implement the said policy,” the statement reads.
School dress codes are often criticized for being strict on girls’ hair and clothing but this is definitely not the first time that little boys are targeted for challenging gender norms and having long hair. At the same time, parents of these boys are often mocked in public.
Another Texas mother also pushed back against her son’s school district after being told to cut his hair. Faye Abunijmeh says her son Habib was growing his hair long to give it to cancer patients.
“This is gender discrimination and sexist,” she told reporters of the policy.
Well, well, well… What can you say of the issue? Leave your comments below and let us know.
barbers hill kindergarten center, child with long hair, houston, sent home from school, Texas
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