A Texas grandmother was asked by her 4-year-old grandson’s school to cut his hair or put him in a dress.
The school allows transgendered children to wear their hair and dresses. The school’s superintendent felt this was a plausible solution for the furious grandmother.
Randi Woodley, an African American woman, approached the superintendent of the Tatum Independent School District to address the issue of her grandson wearing his long her to his new school.
According to Woodley, “…the superintendent then gave me three options. He told me that I could either cut it, braid it and pin it up, or put my grandson in a dress and send him to school, and when prompted, my grandson must say he’s a girl,” abc13 reports.
The response by the officer does not address the real issue at hand, Woodley laments. To her, the school has an issue with their dress code which doesn’t favour black boys who decide to wear their natural hair.
In August, Michael and his grandmother went to meet his new teachers. They were redirected to go and see the principal. The principal then instructed the grandmother to cut off the little boy’s tresses because they flouted the shirt collar rule, which stipulates that male students’ hair cannot grow below the top of a shirt collar.
The grandmother and other parents have said they cannot find the link between education and how a boy should wear his hair. To them, having long hair does not affect the child’s ability to learn but making the child feel different is rather discriminatory against African American boys.
To that effect, a board meeting was organised as a form of protest to influence the school board to amend their rules. “I will be here at every board meeting. I will fight to get all the rules changed,” Woodley said at the meeting.
Kambry Cox, also voicing her concerns at the meeting said, “My son came home, saying ‘Mom, I think there’s something wrong with my hair,’” Cox said of her son, Kellan, who is in kindergarten. “With my son’s dreadlocks, sometimes they do fall in front of his face, so I felt it would be easier to put his hair up, but then that’s a problem,” Cox told KETK
After Woodley poured her frustrations in a Facebook post, Rachel Raye, a Facebook user, picked on her ordeal and started a Change.org petition to “tell Tatum, Texas we will not be bullied into cutting” 4-year-old Michael’s hair. As at the time of the report, the petition has garnered about 4,500 votes.
Tatum Independent School District has not yet issued an official statement regarding the issue at hand.