Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kindergarten Won't Admit Apache Boy with Braids

Gender-policing is known to hurt kids' psyches and feet. Now, a Texas school is proving that gender-policing can also perfectly complement racism and xenophobia to ensure that children's educations are damaged as well:

When Adriel Arocha, 5, was born, his father, Kenney, vowed to teach him his heritage.

"We feel that it's important to raise him as Native American until he's able to make a choice," said Kenny.

And part of that heritage meant he would not to cut his son's hair, believing hair holds spiritual meaning...

All that was fine until Adriel's parents planned to enroll the five-year-old at Needville Elementary School. Despite promising to keep his hair neatly braided, the district refused to accept him.

A quick glance at Needville Elementary School's dress code makes it clear what this is really about:

1. Hair shall be clean, well groomed, and out of the eyes. No hair shall cover any part of the ear or touch the top of the standard collar in the back. Hair shall not be excessively full (not to exceed two inches in fullness).
2. Designs are not permitted in the hair.
3. One straight line for parting purposes in permitted.
4. Sideburns shall be neatly trimmed and be no longer than the middle of the ear lobe.
5. Extreme hairdos of any nature that would be disruptive shall be in violation of the dress code.
6. Not tufts or tails are permitted.
7. Hair when combed forward cannot be in the boys’ eyes.

It is obvious from looking at the schools' photos that the 'no long hair' rule only applies to boys - so we can safely translate rule 1 to mean 'no girly-boys allowed.' Then there is the 'no non-white hairstyles allowed' series of rules: no full hair styles, no designs, no 'extreme hairdos'...

This all seems to add up to the no 'political' hairstyles rule - aka no hairstyles that suggest that you're OK with being different from us.

(h/t: Shameless)


Mächtige Maus said...


How thoroughly disheartening.

I'm tempted to show my Texas coworkers this story, but am afraid that they might not see the issue.

Kandee said...

I'm speechless.

Amelia said...

Whoa....That makes no sense to me at all. The boy looks absolutely not distracting in the picture.

I agree, very disheartening.

Anonymous said...

Aww... he's so cute!