Arizona Principal Suspends Student For Refusing To Remove His Durag: 'I'm Trying To Make A College-Ready Environment'
The young man said his principal, who is black, said the head garments don't need to be worn in school.
April 18, 2018 at 4:30 pm
A high school senior from Tempe, Arizona, has spurred dialogue across the internet after he said he was suspended for refusing to take off his durag.
Lawrence Charles attends McClintock High School. On April 11, he was escorted out of the school and later given an in-school suspension (ISS) because he wanted to keep his durag on. According to a report from AJ+, although McClintock's assistant principal is a black woman, she deems durags unnecessary in a college-ready environment.
"I'm an African-American woman, and I know how they work," Charles loosely quoted the administrator. "You don't need to be wearing your durag at school. I'm trying to make McClintock a college-ready environment, and that starts with not wearing your durag at school."
To Charles, this is a racist explanation.
This high school student says he was suspended for not taking off his do-rag. pic.twitter.com/npCPAqTi26
— AJ+ (@ajplus) April 17, 2018
The idea that durags are somehow gang affiliated is quite problematic given the head garments are predominantly worn by black men. Diversity consultant Dr. David E. Jones adds that young black men have a right to be their authentic selves.
"The problem in our society is that durags place negative labels and stereotypes predominantly on the black community and black male community. Young black males should be able to wear what they want," Jones said.
While all of this is true, Charles' story has created conversation about whether he is justified in refusing to take his durag off.
This is like wearing a bonnet to school. Just no.
— S.P. (@stephiapres) April 17, 2018
I'm normally quite liberal, but there is no reason this kid needs to wear a do-rag at school. If he needs to wear it for a certain amount of time, that time could be outside of school hours.
— Dr. Robert E. Sawyer Ed.D. (@DrRobertSawyer) April 17, 2018
They also have no reason for him not to wear it. Except, of course, for the need of HS admins to control students' every move
— Grouchy Smurf (@AppleJaxx31) April 17, 2018
Do they allow students to wear hats, beanies, or bandanas etc? Because if not I don't see how the policy is racist. Most school don't let you wear anything on your head. Now if his argument is excessive punishment then that's a conversation to be had.
— Take It To The Altar (@candachi87) April 17, 2018