A 4-year-old boy in the Houston area was forced out of his school because of his long hair.
Jessica Oates, 25, of Baytown, and her son Jabez were told Friday afternoon by administrators at Barber’s Hill kindergarten center that he could not return to school unless his long locks were chopped.
On Monday, Oates put Jabez’s hair in a bun using a black hair tie and tried to take him to school. The pair were turned away and not let out of the car because his hair still violated the school’s dress code, Oates told Chron.com Tuesday morning.
Despite having to call out of her job at a restaurant Tuesday because Jabez couldn’t go to school, Oates has no intention of cutting his hair.
“It’s not an option,” Oates told Chron.com. “It’s part of my child.”
Oates plans on addressing the Barber’s Hill Independent School District board Sept. 1 to plead her case on behalf of her son. In the meantime, she has taken to Facebook to find support.
“When I signed the handbook I was informed that I could bring a letter stating that it could remain long for cultural and religious reasons. I apologize I didn’t realize the district was going to recant it’s statement and kick my child out,” Jessica Oates wrote on Facebook Monday morning.
“Why in the world would I worry about my son standing out? If anything he can stand out for his wonderful little personality. It’s the community that will treat him as a pariah, as far as I’ve seen, as well as your school district.”
Oates’ Facebook messages accompanied a video of her explaining the situation and how the school’s dress code does state that children’s hair may not be long. She also says she was told by the school’s principal that hair accessories for boys were not allowed.
Oates claims that she and Jabez have been ostracized in her community and will “never stop fighting for my child to be educated here.”
A request for comment has been left with Barber’s Hill ISD.