A Utah teen claimed she was racially profiled after being told to leave school because of her dreadlocks.
Caycee Cunningham, and eighth grader from Pleasant Grove, Utah, was sent home from Lincoln Academy after coming to school with shoulder-length dreadlocks — worn as part of her Hindu faith, which she discovered while studying in Guatemala.
Principal Jake Hunt told Caycee that the dreadlocks were in breech of the school’s policy and would have to be removed. Both the teen and her furious mother, Tonya Judd, refused.
“My daughter is white and there happens to be other kids in the school who happen to be other race and ethnicity and they have hair that can't be combed, and there's never been an issue regarding that before,” Judd said.
The school’s policy reportedly states that hair must be neatly combed so as to not be a distraction in the classroom. Judd rejected the notion that her daughter was sent home due to her hair being a distraction.
Rather, she said she feels as though Caycee was racially profiled.
“Not only have they been racially profiling my daughter because she happens to be a while girl with dreadlocks, but it's also taking away the rights of my daughter's religious beliefs and her spiritual journey,” she told Fox 13.
Hunt said Caycee will not face repercussions for changing her hair style, although he hopes to have a conversation with Judd to attempt a compromise.
“We would be happy to come to a common solution with parents if they have concerns,” he said. “It's just a matter of having that conversation with us and trying to go through that process."
Caycee told reporters she is prepared to change schools if she isn’t allowed to wear her dreadlocks.