Dreadlocks are cultural, not disgraceful

This is what dreadlocks look like. This is what got banned.

via. flickr.com

This is what dreadlocks look like. This is what got banned.

On December 27th, 2018, wrestler Andrew Johnson was told to cut his dreads. This year in January, high school student DeAndre Arnold was told by officials at his school, Barbers Hill, to cut his dreads if he wants to graduate. Hair is just a way to express yourself. Why should DeAndre not be able to graduate for it? On top of that, if he were to go back to school, he would get an in-school suspension. 

DeAndre has been following the school rules for the whole time he has been there. The school rule is, according to page 55 in Barbers Hill ISD Student Handbook, “Male students’ hair will not extend, at any time, below the eyebrows, or below the ear lobes. Male students’ hair must not extend below the top of a t-shirt collar or be gathered or worn in a style that would allow the hair to extend below the top of a t-shirt collar, below the eyebrows, or below the ear lobes when let down.” De Andre’s mother has made sure he has been following this rule by tying it up every morning. No one at the school has told him that his hair was a violation any other time than now, before graduation. 

On January 30th, 2020, Ellen DeGeneres invited him to be on her talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. They brought up his recent incident, and she talked about it with him. She said things such as, “I want you to just relax and know that I’m here for you.” She also knew that he had good grades and that until now, he has never gotten in trouble. 

Later on, he stated that there were tons of girls with long hair at his school. He was frustrated with the fact that girls can have long hair and he couldn’t have long hair. At the end of their conversation, Alica Keys came out and presented him with a 20,000 dollar scholarship from herself and Ellen. 

At Barbers Hill High, Andre was told to cut his dreads if he wants to graduate. This doesn’t sound like something from a fellow administrator, but instead a statement from a bully. Why should a student be stopped from graduating for hair?