Black Student Forced To ‘Sharpie In’ His Haircut
A Pearland Independent School District in Texas is being sued after forcing a young black student to color in his haircut.
His parents, Dante Trice and Angela Washington, report that the staff at Berry Miller Junior High School disciplined their son, J.T., by using a black Sharpie marker to color in the boy’s fade because it allegedly violated the dress code.
According to the suit,
“The haircut did not depict anything violent, gang-related, obscene or otherwise offensive or inappropriate in any manner. J.T. did not believe the haircut violated any school policy.”
NBC News reports that on April 15, principal Tony Barcelona told J.T. to go to the principle’s office because he was “out of dress code.” Berry Miller’s assistant, Helen Day, told J.T. he could either be suspended, which would mean losing his spot on the track team or have the fade colored in with a marker.
He took the marker punishment and the teachers took turn to color it in.
“The jet-black markings did not cover the haircut design line but made the design more prominent and such was obvious to those present at the very beginning of the scalp blackening process,” the suit stated.
“It is commonly understood among scholars and the general public that depicting African Americans with jet black skin is a negative racial stereotype.”
He was left with dark markings on his skin for days and was faced with humiliation by others.
A prior statement from the district said, “Hair must be neat, clean and well-groomed. Extreme hair styles such as carvings, mohawks, spikes, etc. are not allowed.” They go on to note that “filling in the shape of the hair carving with a marker … is not condoned by the district and does not align with appropriate measures for dress code violations.”
Apparently, the person who applied the disciplinary action has been asked to leave.