Suspended for a hairstyle

Nakyla McCoy, Contributing Writer

Deandre Arnolds is an African American 18 year old senior who attends Barbers Hill High School located in Mont Belvieu Texas. His family is from Trinidad, and they are very strong when it comes to expressing their culture. He has dreads and has been growing his dreads for seven years. He’s an A/B student who is well over the credits he needs to graduate. His school dress code requires his dreads to be off of his shoulders, above his earlobes, and out of his eyes. He has never not once been out of school dress code, but recently his hair has been a “problem” at school causing him to get a consequence of ISS(in school suspension). 

     “I really like that part of Trinidadian culture, so I really embrace that,” stated Deandre. He’s been fine throughout his whole high school career. Yet after Christmas break, just 3 months before his graduation, his school changed the school dress code policy. The policy that is making him unable to walk for graduation unless he cuts his dreads. His mom, Sandy Mamdooh, said, “This is a part of whom he is, this part of our beliefs so no I will not cut his hair nor force him to.” He is now unable to attend school and walk in his upcoming school graduation until his dreads are cut.