Texas Mother Says School Wants Her To Cut Her Son's Dreadlocks
"My son Jonathan went from loving his hair yesterday to opting to cut his hair today."
A Texas mother is outraged her son's school has asked him to cut his hair that he wears dreadlocked. The 6-year-old boy's mother, Tiffany Brown, said she received notification from Spring Valley Elementary School about the school dress code and what is expected of students returning after the holiday break.
According to the letter, "hair must not be lower than the bottom of the ears or collar in the back.” Brown, who's also an author, didn't like the directive and called it "racists & gendered" on Twitter.
In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, Brown said she hadn't received any warning about Jonathan's hair before the holiday break, and explained why the letter left her furious.
“Children of color have been targeted for many years, because of what others see as the norms in our society,” she said. “Because of these norms that are blinding people in our society, some people have stated that dreadlocks are a fashion statement and my child should conform and express himself when he’s older. Dreadlocks are part of my African culture, not a fashion statement.
Brown said he returned to school on Jan. 8 with his hair as is and was called to the school's office. She said her son was told the school staff wanted to speak with them about his time off. However, they proceeded to talk to him about his hair.
Jonathan's mother said she nearly "slammed on the breaks" when she learned the meeting, which supposedly referenced her appearance on local TV stations slamming the school for the notification, made her son rethink cutting his hair.
“My son Jonathan went from loving his hair yesterday to opting to cut his hair today, after this meeting,” she said. “Yesterday, he loved his hair and didn’t want it cut; today he’s frustrated and doesn’t, after speaking with a school official.”
Brown says she will take her issue with the school as far as she can.
“My plans are to go as far as needed to ensure the rights and liberties of every child are respected and protected,” she added. “Not only for children of color, but for every child.”