Original article appeared in theGrio.
A California kindergartner was kicked out of class because of his hair style.
Six-year-old Jalyn Broussard was so excited about the haircut he got last December, and he couldn’t wait to go to school and show it off. His hair is longer on the top than on the sides and when he got to school, he was told that his haircut violated school policy and was sent home.
“He was excited, you know?” his mother, Mariana Broussard, told ABC7. “He had chosen this haircut, he was really excited about it because they usually go bald or short afro, so he was excited to have something different.”
But that excitement didn’t last, and Broussard described the phone call from the school that next day: “She said, ‘well, in these situations it’s much better that the child be removed from the school environment so they’re not an undue influence on the rest of the school population.’”
She cut Jalyn’s hair, but she kept asking officials why this had happened. The policy banned extreme hairstyles, fauxhawks, tails spiking and other styles, but Jalyn’s style did not seem to meet those standards.
“I do believe that he was discriminated against,” she said. “There are lots of kids who have hair that’s longer in the middle, that’s shorter on the sides.”
“The only difference is the texture of his hair because he’s an African-American,” said her attorney, Jennifer Bezoza with Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.
In January, Broussard pulled Jalyn and his older brother out of the school and has since filed a federal civil rights complaint.