Mother in hair-color conflict with Seagraves school district
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -
A Seagraves mother says her child is being denied an education because of her hair color.
"She's been shunned, she's been discriminated," Watasha Houston said.
Watasha dyed her daughter's hair two weeks ago. Now she says if her daughter does not change it, she will be put in in-school suspension.
Neices is a 7th grader at Seagraves Junior High. Watasha says she has been kept out of class for two days in a row because of her hair color.
"She gets up this morning, gets ready to go to school; she's not allowed to go to her class again," Watasha said.
The Seagraves Independent Student Handbook states "hair coloring or bleaching for the purpose of creating extreme differences in color" is classified as inappropriate grooming.
"Any color or bleach that creates two different colors that are extreme, opposite of the natural color, then that is violation of dress code," said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Spiller.
Dr. Spiller says no disciplinary action has been taken, but Neices says her principal told her otherwise.
Neices says her principal told her, "You can't go to your normal classes until you get your hair changed and if you don't get it changed by a certain date then you're gonna be put in ISS and if it's still not changed by then, then we're either going to suspend you or go from there," Neices said.
Spiller says they work with students and parents and give them the opportunity to set a timeline to correct any violation of the dress code, but Watasha does not agree it is a problem and refuses to dye her daughter's hair back.
"It's not hurting anybody but it's killing her not to be able to walk into a classroom and get her work done because in the long run she's gonna be behind…because of her hair?"
Neices says she is a straight-A student and having her hair dyed was her reward.
"I've waited two years to dye my hair and I've had to earn it by my grades," she said.
Watasha has since enrolled Nieces in Loop Independent School District.
Dr. Spiller says these incidents are not black and white and they are handled on a case by case basis. He says the dress code is enforced to prepare students for the business world.