SMH. Isaiah Freeman, a 7th grader from Virginia, has been kicked out of school for rocking locs, local news stations have reported. Freeman, who by all accounts is an "exemplary" and upstanding student, was told by school administrators that he had to but his locs, despite his having the hairstyle since the third grade. Apparently, Freeman's well-maintained locs had grown too long to comply with school policy.
The young boy’s father pulled him out of West End Christian High when administrators threatened to discipline his son for the style. “I think it’s a form of not being culturally aware, a form of stereotyping,” Shawn Freeman told the New York Daily News. Freeman is now looking for an alternative school to send his son.
“They won’t give me a legitimate reason why this is an issue now,” Freeman said. He expressed his disbelief that the school began enforcing their anti-dreadlock rules three months into the term, and years after Isaiah had entered the school.
Freeman explained that his son is a great student, and he doesn’t want this kind of prejudice and negative attention to affect his grades. “I didn’t want him to fall back in his studies,” Freeman says.
Amy Griggs, the school’s principle claims that Isaiah was not told to change his hairstyle, just the length of his locs. “Our handbook states that hair length is to be no longer than the middle of the neck, halfway below the ears, and not below the eyebrows...This has never been about his hairstyle, only the length.” Griggs also told local WTVR that the school board is considering diversity training, and may change their hair policy next year.
Despite this, Shawn Freeman said he is not considering bringing Isaiah back to West End, even if the rule was changed. Sadly, sounds like this will be the school's loss, but hopefully administrators will follow through on their promise of diversity training.
(Photo: Dimitri Mais Photography)