- Randi Woodley said staff members from the Tatum Independent School District in Texas said her 4-year-old grandson Michael Trimble’s shoulder-length hair was too long.
- She said she was told to either cut or braid Michael’s hair – or put him in a dress and have others address him as a girl.
- Woodley detailed the incident in an August Facebook post, saying Tatum Primary School’s principal told her Michael’s hair could be a “distraction.”
- Woodley said the district’s dress code, which says male students can’t have long hair, or wear ponytails, duck tails, rat-tails, male buns, or puffballs, discriminates against black boys.
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A grandmother in Texas says that school officials told her that her 4-year-old grandson couldn’t wear his long hair to school – and would need to wear a dress if he refused to cut or braid it.
Randi Woodley told KETK that she was at a meet-the-teacher event at Tatum Primary School in Tatum Independent School District when staff members told her her grandson Michael Trimble’s shoulder-length hair was too long.
“He told me that I could either cut it, braid it and pin it up, or put my grandson in a dress and send him to school, and when prompted my grandson must say he’s a girl,” Woodley told KETK.
Woodley detailed the incident in an August Facebook post, saying Tatum Primary School’s principal told her Michael’s hair could be a “distraction.”
She said in the Facebook post that Michael’s hair is natural, with no coloring or extensions.
“I did not understand why my grandson’s ponytail is any different than a little girl’s ponytail,” Woodley told CNN. “And why is his ponytail more of a distraction than him in a dress? So I politely told him that from that day forward, I would get my grandson’s hair braided. I would pin it up, but I would fight that dress code with everything in me.”
Tatum ISD and Tatum Primary School officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider.
It says that male students are barred from wearing ponytails, ducktails, rat-tails, male buns, or puffballs.
Woodley told KYTX that the dress code discriminates against black boys, among whom those styles are popular.
“I was just always taught to embrace. Embrace my identity, embrace who we are,” Woodley said. “I’m trying to teach him that’s who you are. God created you and you can feel good about it … You’re loved, you’re beautifully made.”
Woodley recently told a school board meeting that the dress code is discriminatory black against hair, and is pushing to have it changed. Tatum ISD’s next school board meeting is in October.
- Read more:
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- A viral video shows the owner of an event hall in Mississippi declining to host an interracial wedding because of her ‘Christian belief’
- California became the first state to ban discrimination against natural hair
- A Georgia elementary school displayed posters of ‘appropriate’ and ‘inappropriate’ hairstyles for black students