A 5-year-old Navajo boy in Texas was sent home from his first day of Kindergarten on Monday for having long hair, though it is against his religion to cut it.
Malachi Wilson, a member of the Navajo Nation, was kicked out of F.J. Young Elementary school in Seminole on the first day because of school policy, according to CBS 7's Lauren Lanmon.
“Malachi was excited to start school all summer long,” said April Wilson, Malachi’s mother. “After we had enrolled him he was excited, everyday it was the question, ‘Mom, are we going to school?’”
School district officials allowed Malachi to take classes and register after they were shown official documentation to prove he is Native American, according to KOB 4. They added that they were simply following district procedures when they barred Malachi from attending because of his hair.
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Wilson said she reached out to the Navajo Nation right after her son was not allowed to go to school.
(via CBS 7)
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(via KOB 4)
“I also spoke with the American Indian movement; they had also contacted the superintendent,” she said. “When they contacted the superintendent, they had told them that they were going to accept Malachi into school.”
Malachi’s birth certificate shows that he is about one half Native American.
“Our hair is sacred to us, it makes us part of who we are,” Wilson said. “He’s more native on his dad’s side than on mine,” she added.
Wilson said she may pursue legal action against the school after talking to a lawyer about whether the district’s actions are considered discrimination.
“It’s kind of heartbreaking because how do you explain to a 5-year-old that he is being turned away because of what he believes in, because of his religion, because of what’s part of him,” Wilson said. “Wow do you explain that to him?”
Source: KOB 4, CBS 7