A mother in the Houston, Texas, area is upset after she says her 4-year-old son was not allowed to go to school because of his long hair.
Jessica Oates told Inside Edition on Tuesday that Barbers Hill Kindergarten Center in Mont Belvieu, Texas, would not let her son, Jabez, in school because of his hair.
“When I went to enroll my child, I asked about the policy on hair. I was told my son would be allowed to keep his hair,” Oates said. “I was getting him all geared up for school. I took him to school and it was no big deal.”
Oates said that she was told she would only need to bring a document proving that the reason for her son’s long hair was religious or cultural. She said her family is part Cocopah Indian and in that culture, hair is a seen as strength.
The Barbers Hill School District has a policy that boy’s hair has to be above the eyes, ears and neck, KTRK reported.
“On Monday, I tried to take to my son to school, and I put his hair in a bun and I tied it with a little black hair tie. They said that the black hair tie was inappropriate and they would not allow him to go,” Oates told Inside Edition.
Oates said the policy is sexist “because they have no hair policy for girls” and that the policy is “outrageous and outdated.”
Barbers Hill School District issued the following statement on the matter to KTRK:
“Our local elected Board has established policy based on community expectations, and Barbers Hill administration will continue to implement the said policy.”
Oates plans to challenge the policy.
“I don’t believe that short hair should be required to get an education,” she said.
Oates started a petition, which she shared on her Facebook page, to change the school district’s “sexist dress codes.”