Houston News : Newsom, Hopkins express support for Barbers Hill ISD teen in dispute over hair

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Barbers Hill High School in Chambers County.

Barbers Hill High School in Chambers County.

Photo: Google Maps

Barbers Hill High School in Chambers County.

Barbers Hill High School in Chambers County.

Photo: Google Maps

Newsom, Hopkins express support for Barbers Hill ISD teen in dispute over hair

A Houston-area teenager’s dispute against a school district over the length of his hair has attracted the attention of one Texans player and the governor of California.

Barbers Hill ISD student DeAndre Arnold, 18, has worn his dreadlocks for years, according to KPRC. Arnold’s family told the station that they hail from Trinidad and that a lot of men in his culture grow dreadlocks.

The family adhered to the district’s dress-code policy by tying Arnold’s hair up to keep it off his collar, away from his earlobes and out of his eyes.

But in an interview with KHOU, the family said a recent change in the district’s dress code treats boys and girls differently by allowing girls to have hair at any length, unlike guys. Arnold told KPRC that he was told that if he were to take his hair down, it would be a violation of dress code, which is something he said he does not do at school.

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As such, the family says Arnold has been told to cut his hair or undergo disciplinary action they say would jeopardize his participation in senior-class activities like graduation and his subsequent college career.

In a tweet attributed to the Barbers Hill Superintendent Gregory Poole, the district maintains that students can wear dreadlocks, but has “a community supported hair length policy & have had for decades.”

In a tweet on Wednesday, the superintendent noted the scrutiny the district has received over its dress-code policy.

BH has received scrutiny regarding our high level of expectations on all things & dress code. Yet our African American students beat the state average on passing STAR by 22% & our overall passing scores are the highest in the state.
Sounds like high expectations work!

— BarbersHillSUPT (@BarbersHillSoup) January 23, 2020

On Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the dispute “racial discrimination” and touted his state’s ban on hair discrimination, the first state in the nation to enact such a measure.

This is racial discrimination. And it’s played out every day across our country — in workplaces, schools, sports — in ways that are subtle and in ways that are overt.

I’m proud that CA became the first state to ban hair discrimination.

Other states should follow. https://t.co/rN6j51kOTB

— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 23, 2020

Newsom’s remarks on twitter come one day after Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins tweeted out his support for Arnold.

“Never cut your locks Deandre Arnold,” he wrote.

Never cut your locks Deandre Arnold.

— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) January 22, 2020

Arnold told KHOU his hair has nothing to do with his future or his intellect.

“My hair doesn’t determine that,” he said. “I determine that for my character.”

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Source : chron.com