A Black teenager could be forced to miss his high school graduation because of the length of his hair.
DeAndre Arnold is currently a senior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas, which is about 30 miles outside of Houston. But he will not be able to participate in graduation unless he decides to cut his dreadlocks, according to KPRC.
Arnold’s father is from Trinidad and his family wears locs as a cultural tradition.
Now, three months before graduation, the Barbers Hill Independent School District has changed its dress code in terms of hair. The rules state that “hair must be clean and well-groomed” and, on male students, not extend at any time below the eyebrows, ear lobes or the top of a T-shirt collar — including when let down.
Arnold is not allowed in school and cannot attend graduation until he complies with the new dress code.
Across the nation, several states have passed laws banning discrimination against natural hairstyles. California and New York were the first states to enact such laws during the summer of 2019, and New Jersey, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and Maryland have followed suit, proposing legislation similar to California’s and New York’s.
Arnold’s parents have refused to cut his hair.