Social media was on fire after Angela Washington posted photos on her Facebook page of her 12-year-old son, Juelz Trice, with permanent marker colored into his hair. Trice had been told by an administrator at Berry Miller Junior High in Pearland, TX, where he attends 7th grade, that he was in violation of the school district’s dress code, after he arrived with an “M” carved into his hair.
Trice told ABC13 Eyewitness News in Houston, TX, that the administrator told him that he had two options: an in-school suspension, or to color in the fresh shave.
While some people thought it wasn’t an issue, and that the pre-teen needs to “follow the dress code,” most people who saw the Facebook post from the boy’s mother were as disgusted and outraged as she was. They were not here for the clap backs that supported the administrator’s decision, and took to social media to voice their outrage:
Sharon Vaughan commented: Anything that makes us stand out is seen a problem! !! Wonder why!! How dare they touch this child!!!!!😠😠😠
Pamela Reitzell McNeel said: in need of a therapist? trauma of his mind body and soul? you have got to be kidding me
Bobby Bradford added: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !!!!
And that was just from the thousands of comments on Facebook alone.
The history of black people with our hair and the outside world is a marred one. So when antiquated and inherently discriminatory rules are forced upon us in 2019, the reaction is undoubtedly going to be fulminating.
Earlier this year, under the New York City Civil Rights Law, the City of New York set new legal enforcement guidance banning discrimination based on hairstyle in schools, youth clubs, fitness clubs, and places of work, stating that such rules “disproportionately impact Black people.”
“Policies that limit the ability to wear natural hair or hairstyles associated with Black people aren’t about ‘neatness’ or ‘professionalism;’ they are about limiting the way Black people move through workplaces, public spaces and other settings,” said NYC Human Rights Commissioner and Chair Carmelyn P. Malalis in an official press release.
Pearland ISD issued a statement saying that they do not support the administrator’s actions, and that he has been placed on leave with further action forthcoming. It read:
“District administration has contacted the student’s family to express our extreme disappointment in this situation, which does not fall in line with the values of Pearland ISD.”