A black teenage student was suspended recently by the school for having dreadlocks. DeAndre Arnold, an 18-year-old teenager studying at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Houston was reportedly denied entry to the school and the graduation ceremony until he cuts his dreadlocks. While this was seen more as a discrimination against the student, the school authorities claim that this was to their attempt to make sure of the school’s dress code.
DeAndre Arnold, whose father hails from Trinidad said that dreadlocks are a tradition in their family and community and his son worn dreadlocks for years like a lot of men in his family and always followed the school’s dress code by tying them up.
“I really like that part of Trinidadian culture,” he told the station. “So, I mean I really embrace that.”
“They say that even though my hair is up and I follow all of the regulations, that if it was down, it would be out of dress code,” DeAndre Arnold told KPRC. “Not that I’m out of dress code, but if I was to take it down, I would be out of dress code, which doesn’t make any sense. I don’t take it down at school.”
“This is his belief,” she said. “This is a part of who he is. This is his culture. This is what we believe.”
Sandy Arnold could not immediately be reached at numbers listed for her.
On Wednesday, Houston Texans wide receiver Deandre Hopkins tweeted his support for the teen, urging him to “never cut” his dreadlocks.
Never cut your locks Deandre Arnold.
— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) January 22, 2020
In a statement posted on the School’s Twitter account, the district said that it does allow dreadlocks. “However we DO have a community-supported hair length policy & have had for decades,” the statement said. “BH is a State leader with high expectations in ALL areas!”
Poole said the district’s board of trustees, “which has included African American representation, takes their role of representing the local community as one of their chief priorities.”
“We will continue to be a child-centered district that seeks to maximize the potential of EVERY child,” he continued. “Local control is sacred to this country, and we will NOT be bullied or intimidated by outside influences.”