6-Year-Old Barred from Entering Florida Christian School Because of Dreadlocks

A father’s dream for his 6-year-old son to attend a private Christian school this year were crushed after the child was turned away because of his dreadlocks.

Clinton Stanley Jr. was set to attend A Book’s Christian Academy in Apopka, Fla., but was told he was unwelcomed because his hairstyle was banned, the Orlando Sentinel reported. School leaders told Stanley’s dad his son wouldn’t be allowed to start the first grade unless he cut his hair.

Clinton Stanley Jr.

A Book Christian Academy has a strict no dread policy, which kept Clinton Stanley Jr. from attending class on the first day of school. (Clinton Stanley Sr. / Facebook video screenshot)

“I respect their rules, but it’s not right,” Clinton Stanley Sr., told the newspaper. “Allow kids to come as they are. You are a Christian school. In the Bible it says, come as you are. You deny a kid an education on his hair?”

Sue Book, an administrator for the private school, said the dreadlock ban has been in place since the ’70s and hasn’t stopped other Black children from enrolling. The school’s student population is reportedly 95 percent African-American, according to Book.

“No dreads,” she said. “All of our boys have short hair … we don’t allow it. We never have.”

Stanley Sr. filmed the moment he walked his son, who was sporting the school’s uniform of navy slacks, a button-down shirt and a tie, to the campus only to be told his son would not be allowed in class without first getting a haircut.

“My son just got told he cannot attend this school with his hair,” his father says in the video. “If that’s not bias, I don’t know what is … that’s crazy.

Stanley Sr. is heard asking if he can braid his child’s hair up, but a teacher says “no,” and points him to the school’s handbook, which explains that dreaded hair is not allowed. The boy’s father said he was completely unaware of the no dreadlock rule prior to enrolling his son. He said he would have never chosen that school had he known about it.

The school’s message is that “all kids are created in the image of God,” yet not everyone is welcome, he added.

Stanley Sr., who was using a scholarship voucher for his son to attend the school, accused A Book’s academy of “disassociating yourself of people of color” by implementing the racist policy, which appears to target “hoodlums,” he told the Orlando Sentinel.

His video sparked swift backlash from users who condemned the controversial policy. Book complained about getting dozens of “harassing phone calls,” including one from a man who threatened to burn the school down.

“I’ve had all kinds of obscene, ugly calls,” she told the newspaper. “It’s just hard.”

Stanley Jr. is now enrolled at his local public school where he was welcomed with open arms.

Watch more in the video below.


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