Posted Oct. 5, 2007 – A Detroit charter schools says one student's hairdo is definitely a don't and tells him to lose the Afro puff or don't come back. But the mother of Claudius Benson II says her son's school went too far, and she's suing.
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Benson, 14, hasn't cut his hair in 10 years. Officials at his school, Old Redford Academy, say the ninth-grader was suspended because his hair is too long. The dress code requires "close-cropped" hair.
So why is his mom suing?
Alecha Benson says she follows the Old Testament passages that she interprets as prohibiting the cutting of her son's hair, and haircuts are against their religion. She is working with the ACLU to sue the school.
"We don't feel that we have to change our belief systems for my son to get an education," she said at an ACLU news conference Wednesday. "We have a right to chose to continue in the school that I enrolled him in. ... He's anxious to go back to school."
The school says it wants to confirm whether or not Claudius has a religious reason for his hairdo. He's been out of school now for nearly a month.
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