A six-year-old in Florida was banned from his first day of school due to his hairstyle, igniting a firestorm of criticism.
Clinton Stanley Jr.’s father was forced to withdraw his son from A Book’s Christian Academy in Apopka, after the school reportedly said the boy would need to get a haircut before he could attend.
In an eight minute video posted to Facebook, Clinton Stanley Sr. can be heard speaking with school officials at the school near Orlando.
“Our son just got told he could not attend the school with his hair,” he says in the video. “If that’s not biased, I don’t know what is.”
The school said the boy wasn’t turned away due to race, and referenced a school policy on dress codes and hair styles.
“If a kid has dreadlocks that’s your personal standard,” the father said to WESH2 News. “That means that’s a personal problem that you have not overcome because 95 per cent of the kids who have dreadlocks are African-American.”
The school’s director also cites the same parent/student policy, claiming that as a private school they have to maintain a certain standard.
“You can see my school, it’s probably 95 percent black,” said John Book.
“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… In our school our song is ‘Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World’…we try to uphold certain biblical standards and certain degrees of order that enable us to maintain a school.”
The parent/student handbook states that boys’ 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.”
Stanley Jr. has since been enrolled in another school.