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A 6-Year-Old Was Turned Away From School on His First Day for Having Dreadlocks. Now His Dad Is Suing

Screenshot/WESH

A Florida dad sues a Christian private school after his 6-year-old was turned away from school on his first day because of his hair.

On Thursday Clinton Stanley, Sr. filed a lawsuit against A Book’s Christian Academy in Apopka, Florida for discriminating against his son by barring the boy from entering the building because of his dreadlocks.

In August, the angry dad posted a video of staff turning away the first grader because of a school policy implemented in 1971.

The dress code policy forbids boys from having hair styled in “dreads, Mohawks, designs, unnatural color, or unnatural designs,” as reported by the Washington Post.

Watch the video below:

In a blog, Stanley explained his decision to pursue legal action against the school for “singling out and shaming Black natural hair” that is “so closely tied to Black identity.” Stanley wrote:

They treated him like a leper, and then they gave me an ultimatum: my son’s hairstyle or his schooling.

[…]

On behalf of my son and other Black children in my community, I’m urging the Florida Department of Education to hold A Book’s Christian Academy accountable.

According to the lawsuit, the father believes A Book’s is violating the anti-discrimination 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Screenshot/WESH

The 6-year-old attended the private school with the help of a publicly funded state scholarship program:

As a result, we are filing this complaint requesting that the Florida Department of Education conduct an inquiry into A Book’s Christian Academy and suspend state scholarship funding until A Book’s changes its policy and practice of preventing Black students from attending school due to their natural hair.

School officials have not released a statement on the lawsuit. The school’s director told WESH that the private school has the right to enforce their standards.

The 6-year-old is currently enrolled in public school.

Watch the video below: 

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  1. I don’t believe the school in any way “shamed” this youngster for his hair or singled him out. It IS the school’s policy and by enrolling the child you agreed to it along with other policies of the school.

    • I agree. He was given an opportunity to go to
      A private school through a scholarship. It in no way “shamed” him. They would have turned a white child away too if his parents had sent him with a Mohawk or some other hairdo. Apparently those were the rules when he enrolled so if his parents didn’t want him to have to do away with his dreads then they should not have enrolled him. To me, he was given a great opportunity to attend a private school and could have grown back his hair to have dreads after his schooling. If in the meantime if the child himself was saying his dreads were part of his racial heritage, that’d be one thing but it’s just something being pushed by the parents. It is so not racial discrimination.

  2. yes, but the boy’s hair isn’t a distraction that I can see…its something we see all around today on adults as well. Its not flamboyant or colorful or spiky its just normal. Leave it be.

  3. School policy? He knew that going in. Sad that he doesn’t like to follow rules, and he’s teaching his child the same thing.

  4. It’s a shame that our black childrens hair is being descriminated.
    But at the same time the parents knew the schools policy.

    Dam if you do Dam if you don’t
    Children & Old people don’t stand a chance in this country…

  5. Shame on you, A Book’s Christian Academy. What is wrong with you, plus you are supposedly a Christian school. I know you have to have rules, but this is going too far, this child is trying to attend school, something so many does not do. Where are his rights? I am a white 68-year-old woman and I don’t see what the problem is with him having his hair this way. This is why so many turn to rebellion because of closed minded people in this world. In this day and age, we should embrace each other. Shame on you for turning him away. I pray that he finds a wonderful school that does not judge.

  6. Are there any other Black kids attending the school that conform to the hair style rules?
    Sad when a parent decides that a hair style will determine whether his child gets a good education. No doubt the aforementioned will be considered “racist”

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