Student told to cut dreadlocks or he won’t get to walk at graduation

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MONT BELVIEU, Texas -- A Texas high school student is set to graduate in a few months, but the school says there is a problem that will keep him from walking across the stage, KPRC reports.

Barbers Hill High School student Deandre Arnold has always been a good student.

“He is an A and B student. He has dual credit classes. He is not a problem,” said Deandre’s mother, Sandy Arnold.

His mother said her son’s hair has lately been a concern at the school, and one that sent him to in-school suspension.

“This is a part of who he is: our beliefs,” Arnold said.

Deandre’s family is from Trinidad. He said a lot of men in his culture grow dreadlocks.

“I really like that part of Trinidadian culture. I really embrace that,” Deandre said.

His mother said he’s had dreadlocks for years and always followed the school’s dress code.

“The dress code is off the shoulders above the earlobes and out of the eyes,” Arnold said.

Deandre said he wears his hair in compliance with the dress code.

But after Christmas break and three months before graduation, his mother said the district changed the dress code policy.

“They say that even (when) my hair is up if it were to be down, it would be not in compliance with the dress code. However, I don’t take it down in the school,” Deandre said.

His mother said she has tried to reach out to board members and the superintendent in hopes of coming to a resolution but hasn’t received a response.

She said her son isn’t allowed back to school and can’t walk in his upcoming graduation until his dreadlocks are cut.

“Are you going to cut his hair? Absolutely not. This is a part of who he is. So absolutely not going to cut his hair," Arnold said.

The Barbers Hill School District released a written statement:

"We do have a community supported hair length policy & have had for decades. Barbers Hill is a state leader with high expectations in all areas!"

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