A video recorded inside a private Christian school in Florida has resulted in outrage and much debate after a Black first grader was told he could not attend the first day of classes because of his dreadlocks.
Clinton Stanley Sr. posted the video to Facebook, where it has since gone viral. In the video, he sounds extremely frustrated his son cannot enter his class at A Book’s Christian Academy with his hair.
“My son just got told he could not attend the school with his hair,” Clinton Stanley Sr. said in a Facebook video.
“If that’s not biased, I don’t know what is,” he added.
In the video, Clinton’s son looks on while wearing his school uniform and backpack.
While the child stands to the side, Clinton and the school administrator debate the rule about student’s hair. The school official maintained that their school handbook outlines rules stating long hair is prohibited and there’s nothing she can do about the rule. Clinton eventually signs a withdrawal slip, de-enrolling his son from the academy.
Although the school said they were not acting based on discrimination, Clinton believes his 6-year-old was not allowed into class because of racial “bias” and “discrimination.”
“I respect their rules but it’s not right,” Stanley told the Orlando Sentinel. “Allow kids to come as they are. You are a Christian school. In the Bible it says, come as you are.”
As a result of the video, the school has received much backlash, forcing the academy’s director, John Book, to speak out.
“You can see my school, it’s probably 95 percent black,” Book told WESH2 News. “Obviously I am not a racist. But we try to uphold certain Biblical standards and certain degrees of order that enable us to maintain a school.”
According to the school’s parent/student handbook, boys must have their hair “tapered cut, off the collar and ears.”
“There are no dreads, Mohawks, designs, unnatural color or unnatural designs. No combs or net caps,” the handbook reads.
Clinton said he was not aware of this rule at the time of enrolling, but his son is now enrolled at another local public school.
(Photo: Rushay Booysen / EyeEm / Getty Images)