Florida

First-grader denied admission to Florida private school because of dreadlocks, dad says

Six-year-old banned from Christian school because of his hair

A father said he was forced to withdraw his son from a private Christian school in Apopka after he was told his first grader, who wears dreadlocks, had to have his hair cut in order to attend.
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A father said he was forced to withdraw his son from a private Christian school in Apopka after he was told his first grader, who wears dreadlocks, had to have his hair cut in order to attend.

A father said he was forced to withdraw his son from a private Christian school in Apopka after he was told his first-grader, who has dreadlocks, would have to get a haircut to attend.

Clinton Stanley Sr. posted an eight-minute video of his conversation with school officials at A Book’s Christian Academy near Orlando Monday morning after showing up with his son for his first day of school.

“Our son just got told he could not attend the school with his hair,” he said in the video, showing the little boy. “If that’s not biased, I don’t know what is.”

The school rebuffed the idea that the boy was denied admission because of race and cited a longstanding school policy governing dress code and hair styles, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“I respect their rules, but it’s not right,” Stanley told the paper. “Allow kids to come as they are. You are a Christian school. In the Bible it says, come as you are,” he added. “You deny a kid an education on his hair?”

The school’s director, John Book, told WESH2 News that since it is a private school “it’s their standard.”

“You can see my school, it’s probably 95 percent black,” he told the station. “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, boy’s hair must be “tapered cut, off the collar and ears. There are to be no dreads, Mohawks, designs, unnatural color, or unnatural designs. No combs or net caps.“

Clinton Stanley Jr. is now enrolled at another local school, his father said.

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