The ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund are pursuing legal action against a Florida school that barred a black child from campus because of his hair.
“As a father, I’d tried to shield him from racism for as long as I could,” writes Clinton Stanley on the ACLU blog. Stanley was shocked with the predominantly white staff demanded that his son change his hair in order to have access to an education.
“As a father, I’d tried to shield him from racism for as long as I could. But we had just been turned away in humiliating fashion from A Book’s Christian Academy in Apopka, Florida, on the first day of classes,” Stanley writes.
“The school’s administrators, led by John Book, barred CJ from entering the building because of his locs. They treated him like a leper, and then they gave me an ultimatum: my son’s hairstyle or his schooling.”
“On behalf of my son and other Black children in my community, I’m urging the Florida Department of Education to hold A Book’s Christian Academy accountable.”
Stanley points to the negative emotional impact on his son. “The encounter at school was the first time it ever crossed CJ’s mind that anyone might consider him unworthy based on his hair. We live in an African-American neighborhood, where locs are a source of pride rather than shame.”
He concludes, “The problem is not my son’s hair. The problem is a school policy that doesn’t accept my son, and others like him, for who they are.”