A Texas mom is taking her son’s school to task after they insisted that her son cut his locs. Tiffany Brown says that the school policy being forced upon her son is both “racist and gendered” as expressed in a series of tweets.
Prior to the Christmas holiday, 6-year-old Jonathan was sent home with the dress code policy from Midway Independent School District’s, that had highlighted the portion that specifically addresses hairstyles. The letter noted that his “hair must not be lower than the bottom of the ears or collar in the back” and also instructed the parents to “please cut by Jan. 8th.”
Retweet, so this won't happen again!
This is the note the school sent home in my son's backpack. I will not cut his hair. He does not want it cut, so why should I cut it? How does his hair affect his ability to learn? #notmyhair pic.twitter.com/kv5e9EOSaY
— RogerBrownBooks (@books_roger) January 5, 2019
In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, Brown told the outlet that the notice that came home before the winter break was the first time she was made aware that her son’s hair was an issue. She also shared why she is against the policy and broke down what hair means for individuals, but especially people of color.
“Dreadlocks have been a symbol of beauty and strength for many years,” Brown explained. “During slavery, everything was stripped from my people. Now, this is happening. So, basically, it’s a form of control and bondage. She continued, “Only recently, people of color/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.”
Yahoo reports that when Jonathan returned to school on January 8 without a hair cut, he was called to the school office. There he was talked to about his hair. It was a meeting that Brown said, made her son feel differently about his hair.
“My son Jonathan went from loving his hair yesterday to opting to cut his hair today,” Brown lamented. The supportive mom is adamant that interactions with her son and school officials will not be tolerated.
For their part, a school district spokesperson said that the school policy is reviewed each year and makes allowances for religious exemptions on a case-by-case basis. The school also claims that they haven’t had the opportunity to speak to Brown directly about their concerns over her son’s hair.