A mother is accusing her son's school of 'racist' rules after it asked the six-year-old to cut off his dreadlocks

KWTXTiffany Brown and her son Jonathan.
  • Author and mother-of-three Tiffany Brown said her six-year-old son was sent home from Spring Valley Elementary School in Hewitt, Texas, with a note detailing the school district’s hair policies.
  • She said a handwritten note instructed Jonathan, a first grader, to have his dreadlocks cut before returning from winter break on January 8.
  • Brown accused the code of being “racist and gendered,” and kept her son’s dreadlocks long for his return to school.

A Texas mum has accused her son’s elementary school of having a “racist and gendered” hair policy after it asked the six-year-old to cut his dreadlocks before returning to school.

Author and mother-of-three Tiffany Brown posted about Midway Independent School District’s dress code and hair policies on Twitter.

Her son, Jonathan Brown, brought a flyer with the policies home from Spring Valley Elementary School in Hewitt, Texas, before winter break.

On the flyer, a portion on hairstyles was highlighted, and a handwritten note instructed first-grader Jonathan to “please cut” his hair by January 8, when school resumed.

The hair portion highlighted said: “Hair must not be lower than the bottom of the ears or collar on the back. Hair must not touch eyebrows.”

The flyer also said hair “volume” cannot “exceed 2 in. away from head.”

Brown said she had not received other warnings about Jonathan’s hair, and noted that students of colour are often targeted by hair regulations because of the “norms in society.”

“Because of these norms that are blinding people in our society, some people have stated that dreadlocks are a fashion statement and my child should conform and express himself when he’s older,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle. “Dreadlocks are part of my African culture, not a fashion statement. Dreadlocks have been a symbol of beauty and strength for many years.”

Brown, who wears her hair naturally, said taking away her son’s hair is a form of “control and bondage.”

“Only recently, people of colour/African descent have come to accept and love their natural hair. To hear someone say it’s not enough or that my hair should blend with others, that’s not right,” she told Yahoo.

Read more:
The wrestling referee who forced a black teen to cut off his dreadlocks before a match has been banned from officiating in the district

Brown told KWTX that all three of her children wear their hair in dreadlocks. She said Jonathan returned to school on January 8 with his dreadlocks intact.

Brown said he was questioned over his hair that day, but she hopes he can keep his hair as-is.

Midway ISD released a statement to Yahoo saying the hair policy is not discriminatory because it “applies to all students.”

The statement said: “Midway ISD has implemented dress and grooming standards for decades. The policy is established to teach grooming and hygiene, prevent disruption and minimise safety hazards. Even when the policy has incrementally evolved through revisions over time, the length of male students’ hair has been a subject of periodic debate over several decades. In other words, male students wanting to have long hair is not new.”

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