A Florida mother is alleging discrimination after she says her 8-year-old son was forced to get a haircut in order to attend class at a private Christian school in Jacksonville.
According to News 4 Jax, Kiara Hudson’s son, Garrick, was told he had to cut his high top fade because it violated the Christian Heritage Academy dress code. Hudson said her son, who’s a third-grader at the school, was visibly upset about it.
“…He said, ‘The lady at the front desk called me about my haircut and said I had to cut my hair,’ ” she recalled. “I said, ‘They haven’t called me or sent home a letter and until they do that, we won’t worry about it.'”
The next day, Hudson said she received a letter from Garrick’s teacher explaining he wouldn’t be allowed back to class unless he cut his hair.
“They sent me the policy and she basically highlighted ‘distracting and fad hairstyles,’ ” she said, adding that her child’s hairstyle has nothing to do with his ability to learn.
The incident comes after two similar instances of Black children being booted from church-affiliated schools because of their hair. Last week, a 6-year-old was barred from attending class at another Christian private school in Florida because of his dreadlocks while a female student in Louisiana was sent home packing because her “unnatural” hair extensions didn’t comply with the school’s hair policy.
In both cases, school officials say their dress/hair codes were clearly stated in the school handbook. A spokesman for Christian Heritage said parents agree to adhere to the dress code policy when they decide to enroll their children at the academy.
When it comes to students’ hair, the dress code explicitly states that, ” Hair must be clean and neatly combed. For boys, length should be above collar, mid-ear, and above eyebrows. Hairstyles should be appropriate and consistent with good grooming and in no way a distraction to instruction. Fad hairstyles featuring different colors, unusual figures or designs cut in the hair, or ponytails on boys are not acceptable …”
Still, Hudson called the incident involving her son “culturally concerning.”
“I think they should consider everyone in this policy, meaning all races, all textures of hair,” she told News 4 Jax. “Actually, think about, is this distracting the children from learning? I can understand different colored hair — blue, red — however, the type of haircut you have shouldn’t determine whether you’re learning in class or not.”
“I don’t like that you’re basically overriding my decision as a parent to cut my child’s hair,” she added.
Watch more in the clip below.