The school policy states that boys must have a haircut above the eyes, ears and neck and that a parent or guardian must provide a letter citing “religious or cultural exception,” WDSU News reports.
The policy also states that boys aren’t allowed to have ponytails or inappropriate hair accessories. So, to solve this, Oates brought her son to school with his locks fastened by a simple black hair tie into a bun.
However, this wasn’t enough – the principal called Oates saying that Jabez must cut his hair or else he wouldn’t be allowed back.
Yesterday, the mother posted a Facebook live of her meeting with the assistant superintendent, which now has over 3,000 Views. She made it clear, she notes in the comments, that the session was being recorded.
“To me, that is blatant discrimination against something me and my child believe in,” Oates said to the administrator.
“I just want my child to get an education,” she continued. “It’s something extended to every other child in this community, and we live in this community, and we’re a part of this community. And I’m not understanding how long hair would exclude my child from an education in this school district.”
“Was it any harder to teach him because he has long hair?” Oates questions, to which the woman replies that it’s the school board of Barbers Hill Independent School District that sets the policy. Oates later updated her post writing, “UPDATE: I was just called by this woman and told the superintendent does not wish to have a meeting and that Jabez will NOT be allowed in school.”
We’ve heard many stories about students being kicked out for revealing clothes (or garments that don’t seem to be a violation at all really), but news of kids getting penalized because of their hair seems to becoming more and more popular as well.
In February, a high schooler was suspended after he dyed his hair pink. Back in April, a 6th grade boy was told he needed to fix the way his hair was cut – two shaved lines on the side of his head – or face in-school suspension. And in 2015, a 5th grader from Louisiana was suspended because his hair was longer than the accepted “chin-length.” He missed more than 40 days of school.
In a statement sent to WDSU News, the Barbers Hill Independent School District said the following: “Our local elected board has established policy based on community expectations, and Barbers Hill Administration will continue to implement the said policy.”
Oates said she wants to fight back and that she won’t be cutting her son’s hair. “My son likes his hair,” she told InsideEdition.com. “He doesn’t understand why he is not allowed in school over something so trivial.”