A Texas mom is furious after her 4-year-old son was sent home from his first day of school at Barbers Hill Kindergarten Center because he has long hair.
According to Jessica Oates from Mont Belvieu, Texas, her son Jabez was sent home because he violated the dress code and his hair was “too long.” The school policy states that boys must have a haircut above the eyes, ears, and neck and that a parent or guardian must provide a letter citing “religious or cultural exception,” according to WDSU News.
The policy says that boys aren’t allowed to have ponytails or inappropriate accessories, so to solve this, Oates brought Jabez back to school with his locks fastened into a simple black hair tie in a bun. This, however, wasn’t enough and the principal said that Jabez must cut his hair or else he wouldn’t be allowed back at school.
Oates told CW39, “I bought him all his school supplies, his school clothes, his backpack, and he was enthralled. Now he’s confused as to why he can’t go to school anymore.”
Oates tried explaining to the school that her family is American-Indian, and she even showed them documentation that says they are Cocopah Indian and her son’s long hair is a signal of strength. “Apparently, the school board is a stickler for rules and can’t think of any religions or cultures that would require long hair,” Oates said.
Oates says of the ordeal, “It has been vile. A lot of people have told me to move and get out of here… I can’t home school because I work full time and I’m trying to find a second job. I’m a single mom and so home-schooling really just isn’t an option. All I have is the public school system and right now, that is absolutely failing my child.”
She started a Change.org petition in an attempt to change the school dress code, meanwhile, Superintendent Greg Poole says Oates has the right to take her child elsewhere.
“Parents have a right to seek an appropriate educational setting for their child, just as Ms. Oates has the right to place her child in a district that reflects her personal expectations for standards of appearance,” Poole’s statement read.
“There are procedures in place for addressing concerns over policy if it is Ms. Oates’ desire to have her son educated in Barbers Hill ISD. But we would and should justifiably be criticized if our district lessened its expectations or long-standing policies simply to appease,” he continued.
Oates says she wants to fight back and said she won’t be cutting her son’s hair anytime soon. “My son likes his hair,” she told InsideEdition.com. “He doesn’t understand why he is not allowed in school over something so trivial.”
Do you think Barbers Hill Kindergarten Center is wrong in this matter?
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[Featured Image Credit: Facebook- Jessica Oates]