A black teenager in Texas said he was suspended and told he could not walk in his high school graduation ceremony in May unless he cut his dreadlocks to meet the school district’s dress code.
DeAndre Arnold, a senior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, about 30 miles east of Houston told KPRC Channel 2 that his hair had been in compliance with school rules until recently when the school levied an in-school suspension against him after he refused to cut it.
His mother, Sandy Arnold told Fox 26 that Arnold’s hair is part of his culture. “His dad is a Trinidadian… how can I put him in a barber chair?” she asked.
Three months before graduation, the Barbers Hill Independent School District changed its dress code as it refers to hair. The new rules state that hair must be “clean and well-groomed” and not extend on male students, at any time, below the eyebrows, the ear lobes or the top of a T-shirt collar – including when let down.
Arnold has garnered numerous tweets of support from others, including Texans star DeAndre Hopkins who told the teen, “Never cut your locks.”
Other celebrities such as Gabrielle Union vouched for Arnold and that his fight was more about policing black hair across the board.
Arnold, who has had his dreads since seventh grade, is pleading for an exception so he can walk.