Deandre Arnold, a high school student from Texas, is reportedly being discriminated against because of his hairstyle of choice. His school, Barbers Hill High School in the city of Mont Belvieu, has suspended him and banned him from participating in his own graduation unless he cuts his locks to a shorter length.
School officials claim their decision is based on their long-standing policy wherein “no dress code policy that prohibits any cornrow or any other method of wearing of the hair, our policy limits the length. It’s been that way for 30 years,” Superintendent Greg Poole told KHOU 11.
However, activists believe that it is yet again another case of racial discrimination.
“The dress code is designed by white people for white people and is damaging to Black bodies,” Black Lives Matter activist Ashton Woods said.
“This is a Black and white issue, Deandre (and) his family should not have to go through this. But I expect it from a board that has zero diversity,” stated Gary Monroe, with the United Urban Alumni Association.
A number of activists supported Deandre and his family in their discussion with the Barbers Hill school board, hoping to come to a favorable resolution. They thought that the issue was an insignificant obstruction to the teen’s education that might also be experienced by others.
“We’re here for Deandre, but it’s about more than that, this is about all the other Deandre’s that could come through Barbers Hill,” Sandy Arnold, Deandre’s mother said.
Moreover, Deandre’s family, together with their supporters, are planning to take the case to federal court if the school wouldn’t come up with a resolution 48 hours after their meeting.