Parents fume after principal threatens to force black boy to wear a dress because of his braids
Texas boy ordered to cut his hair (KETK)

Outraged parents packed a Texas school board meeting to protest the dress code after a black boy was ordered to cut his hair -- or face humiliating punishment.

Randi Woodley said her grandson, whom she's had custody of since he was 4 months old, was ordered to cut his hair or wear a dress to school after a teacher reported that his hair violated district policies, reported KETK-TV.

She was notified in August 2018 that the boy's hair was too long, and she said the school's principal gave her three options when they met at that time.

“He told me that I could either cut it, braid it and pin it up," Woodley said, "or put my grandson in a dress and send him to school, and when prompted my grandson must say he’s a girl."

Woodley addressed the Tatum Independent School District meeting Monday, and she was joined by other parents who say the dress code discriminates against black students.

The policy prohibits "ponytails, ducktails, rat-tails, male buns or puffballs" for boys, and their hair cannot extend past the top of a T-shirt collar.

“My son came home, saying mom, I think there’s something wrong with my hair,” said Kambry Cox, whose kindergartner son has dreadlocks he wears pulled back into a ponytail. “With my son’s dreadlocks, sometimes they do fall in front of his face, so I felt it would be easier to put his hair up, but then that’s a problem."

Cox and other parents said that district policies suggest to black boys that something is wrong with their hair and the way it grows naturally, and Woodley has set up an online petition that accused the district of bullying her grandson.

“I will be here at every board meeting," Woodley said. "I will fight to get all the rules changed."