Original article appeared in the Michigan Chronicle.
A kindergartner from California was made to switch schools and leave his friends after administrators told his parents his “modern fade” was distracting to other children, San Jose Mercury News reports.
Mariana Broussard says her son Jalyn Broussard, 5 attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School last year and was ridiculed for his haircut. The style known as a “modern fade” is a retro style that’s recently come back into popular culture. Mariana says she was called to pick up her son for violating the school’s hairstyle policy.
Principal Teri Grosey told the mother Jayln’s hairstyle would “unduly influence the student body.” A confused Broussard says the style was also on the heads of children on Caucasian and Asian decent. She also believes the school confused the style with a faux-hawk, which is longer hair at the top and little on the sides. After having endless talks with the administration and even shaving her son’s head, Broussard filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights after coming to the conclusion Jayln was profiled because of his race.
San Jose reports:
“Broussard said she tried to do that for a month after the school objected to Jalyn’s haircut in December. At first, she sheared her son’s head so that he could participate in the next day’s Christmas pageant. Then she sat down with Grosey and brought a photo of Michael Strahan, the talk-show host and former football star who wears the same cut. She pointed out the difference between Jalyn’s modern fade cut and the more extreme “faux hawk” that Immaculate Heart specifically bans. And she said she showed the principal photos of other Immaculate Heart students sporting modern fade cuts.”
The Archdiocese of San Francisco didn’t comment on the lawsuit, but explained the school’s strict policies on hairstyles.
“School policy on hairstyles is very explicit and clear,” Spokesman Larry Kamer said. “Parents acknowledge and accept that policy.”
Broussard is seeking $16,000 for tuition reimbursement for both of her sons. She’s also hoping the administration will also take cultural sensitivity training classes. Jayln and his younger brother are now attending a Fox Elementary in Belmont where Jayln is free to wear his modern fade.
“I think it looks good on me,” he said.
We think so too, Jalyn.