Cousin Of Texas Teen Told He Can't Attend Graduation Because Of His Locs Also Gets Suspended Over His Hair
Kaden Bradford is the cousin of DeAndre Arnold, who was told he would have to cut his locs in order to walk at graduation.
January 27, 2020 at 2:58 pm
A second Texas high school student has been suspended due to his locs being in violation of the school dress code, reports NBC.
Kaden Bradford, a 16-year-old sophomore at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas, has been on at-home suspension according to his mother, Cindy Bradford. She said her son has been growing out his locs since sixth grade and it has only become an issue as of recent.
She said she was told as long as he kept them pulled back, he would not be in violation. After Christmas break, the school’s principal, Rick Kana, told Kaden he would need to cut his hair.
“He had [locs] last year. He took a headband and pushed them off his shoulders. [The school] said if he kept them up like that it was no problem.”
Kaden attends the same school as his cousin, DeAndre Arnold, who was recently told by administrators if he does not cut his dreadlocks he will not be able to walk at graduation, as Blavity previously reported.
DeAndre's mother, Sandy Arnold, has decided to keep her son home from school and forego the school’s options of either sending him to an alternative school or having him report to in-school suspension.
“I refuse to send him to ISS (in-school suspension), he hasn’t done anything wrong,” Sandy told ABC News. “[The school] never called me because DeAndre was being disrespectful or because of his grades, but because of his hair."
Cindy and Sandy, who are sisters, refuse to cut their sons’ hair.
Click2Houston reports Sandy has since withdrawn her son from Barbers Hill.
Cindy, who believes the hair policy is racist, is now considering taking legal action so her son can return to school.
The Barbers Hill Independent School District dress code states male students can not have their hair “gathered or worn in a style that would allow the hair to extend below” the collar, earlobes and eyes when let down. The dress code was changed after a December 16 board meeting and now forbids male students from wearing adornments in their hair. In a statement posted to Twitter, the school district said they do allow dreadlocks.
"However we DO have a community supported hair length policy & have had for decades," the statement reads. "BH is a State leader with high expectations in ALL areas!"
Re a recent Fox 26 segment, Fox didn’t attempt to contact our PR Dir. which is irresponsible journalism. FTR, BH DOES allow dreadlocks. However we DO have a community supported hair length policy & have had for decades. BH Is a State leader with high expectations in ALL areas!
— BarbersHillSUPT (@BarbersHillSoup) January 19, 2020
Superintendent Greg Poole said the policy is about hair length not “cornrows or ethnicity.” He also said the boys are not suspended and are allowed to return to school.
“We allow dreadlocks and extensions. We have a dress code on hair length that is uniformly applied to all students of all races. We have a legal right to that expectation,” Poole said. “There is no injustice being done.”
Poole denies the dress code has been altered, but minutes from the meeting, posted on the district’s website, show "Revisions to the Student Dress Code/Procedures for processing requests" as a topic during the meeting.
"There were many clarifications, but no substantive changes,” Poole said of the policy. He also said Kana had told Arnold her son “was out of compliance long before any revisions."
Sen. Cory Booker, who announced the CROWN Act, expressed support for the cousins.
I stand with Deandre & Kaden.
Natural hair like dreadlocks is a reflection of culture & heritage. No one should be punished for expressing who they are. The CROWN Act would end this—hair discrimination is discrimination against black people. https://t.co/sA1xTDqq2M
— Sen. Cory Booker (@SenBooker) January 24, 2020
“Natural hair like dreadlocks is a reflection of culture & heritage. No one should be punished for expressing who they are,” he tweeted.