Seventh-Grader With Dreadlocks To Switch Schools

| by Tehya Faulk
Isaiah FreemanIsaiah Freeman

A seventh-grader has decided to change schools because officials at his current private school say his hairstyle does not fit the dress code.

Isaiah Freeman attended West End Christian School in Hopewell, Virginia, and has worn dreadlocks since he was a young boy. Recently, his hair has become the center of a controversy, reports the Daily Mail. 

Officials at his current school say Isaiah must cut his hair. If he doesn't, he will receive a referral for every day he does not comply.  

Isaiah and his father, Shawn Freeman, were surprised by the school’s request, as he has worn the same hairstyle since he entered the school in the third grade, reports WTVR. 

"I was a bit confused because my hair has been that way for so long," Freeman told WTVR.

Freeman and his father tried to compromise with the officials by tying his hair back so it was away from his face.

“I was thinking they would approve it and I can go to school as normal,” Isaiah said. 

The principal of the school, Amy Griggs, still did not approve of his hair tied back, reports the Daily Mail. 

She says Isaiah is not the only student who has been asked to change his hairstyle. Griggs believes that making an exception for Isaiah could cause other students challenge the school’s dress code. 

His father sees this request as a cultural issue that is meant to make others feel comfortable. He wants the school to address what appear to be non-inclusive policies.

“As he gets older people are uncomfortable with him having dreadlocks and getting older and bigger. It's an issue of people feeling uncomfortable with a young black male having dreadlocks and having a certain persona of negativity,” Shawn said.

Unable to reach a consensus with the officials of West End Christian School, Shawn has decided to enroll his son in a different school.

Sources: Daily Mail, WTVR / Photo credit: WTVR

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