Thursday

When all other Seminole, Texas students were headed to their first day of school on Monday, one little boy was sent home because his hair was too long.

The five-year-old boy, Malachi Wilson, is a part of the Navajo Nation, and according to his parents, it’s against their religion to cut his hair. CBS 7's Lauren Lanmon reports.

The district says they were only following procedure and after proper documentation was shown that he was truly Native American, he was allowed to register. But his mother says even though he is in school now, they’ll never get back their first day of Kindergarten.

“Malachi was excited to start school all summer long. After we had enrolled him he was excited, everyday it was the question, ‘mom, are we going to school?’” said Malachi’s mother, April Wilson.

Excited about his first day of school, Malachi walked into the doors of F.J. Young Elementary only to be told he couldn’t attend because his hair was too long.


“Our hair is sacred to us, it makes us part of who we are,” said April.

“I trim it, it grows back,” said Malachi.

Malachi has a certificate in blood from the Navajo Nation stating he is at least one half Native American.

“He’s more native on his dad’s side than on mine,” said April.

After leaving the school, Malachi’s mother contacted the Navajo Nation, and by the end of the school day, the school district approved his documentation and Malachi was enrolled. “I also spoke with the American Indian movement; they had also contacted the superintendent. When they contacted the superintendent, they had told them that they were going to accept Malachi into school.”


School district officials say they followed procedure "one hundred percent", pointing to a page in the district handbook that states, “certain recognized religious or spiritual beliefs may qualify for an exception from provisions of the dress code.” The handbook goes on to say that with proper documentation all students are allowed. But even though Malachi is now enrolled, his mom is still bothered by their first day of school encounter.

“It’s kind of heartbreaking because - how do you explain to a five-year-old that he is being turned away because of what he believes in, because of his religion, because of what’s part of him - how do you explain that to him?” said April.

April says after yesterday’s events, she has even thought about taking him out of public school adding she still plans on finding a lawyer to talk about the possibility of a discrimination case.

More than 100,000 of the nearly 300,000 members of the Navajo Nation live in New Mexico. There have been incidents dating back to the late-19th century in which people have forced Navajo schoolchildren to cut their hair, something forbidden the Nation's culture.
SOURCE - Via http://www.kob.com/
VIDEO

Responses to "Native boy sent home from Texas school because hair too long (VIDEO)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a little ridiculous - on BOTH sides. it's only hair (#1), and part of his religion & belief system (#2). however, if the mom expects an exemption (see handbook), then SHE should have made the school aware of said expectation and dealt with it PRO-ACTIVELY instead of RE-ACTIVELY, as she did. that is all.

  2. What gives this school the right to tell anybody what they need to do with their hair? Are we still in America?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hair is hair. Girls wear it long, boys wear it long, religious or not, it shouldn't be an issue. There are bigger battles to fight, and hair shouldn't be on the list.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is it 1968 all over again? Gym coaches were the enforcers when I was in school.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I'm gong to call B.S. on this one. I don't know how it works in Seminole,TX but in every other kindergarten in the country the child must pre-enroll to attend and not just show up on the first day. There would be shot records to be brought to the school, possible vaccinations to be done and lots of other stuff before the child sets foot in the classroom.
    I totally agree that every child should be allowed to attend any school without compromising culture or religion. I am 61 years old, American Indian, and never cut my hair. No one has ever complained and I give them no reason to complain. I don't flaunt the fact that I don't cut my hair, it is just a part of me. Always has been and always will be. As long as the grass grows and the water flows.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Schools Are No Longer Schools !! They Are Indoctrination Centers For The New (Socialist,Marxist) Establishment That Somehow Won a Silent Revolution That No One Was Aware Happened. We Chose To Home School Our Last 2 Children and Even That Will Be Outlawed Soon Enough. There Is So Much Spoon-Fed Disinformation That Is Being Offered By The Establishments Propaganda Machine That Even Critical Thinking Individuals CANNOT Make Any Kind of Proper Analysis For Themselves. Do Be Very Scared and Prepare For The Worst And Hope For The Best ! Do Not Be Passive Our Future Generations Depend On Your Awareness And Actions

  7. Anonymous says:

    BS BS BS!!!!!!!! His hair should have never been an issue for ANY reason. and to anonymous who said "its just hair." To us natives its not just hair, its who we are! Obviously more than your small mind could comprehend.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I don't think it should matter if your native or not if your religion says no cutting your hair or not. The school system has no right to discriminate against boys with long hair. If girls can have long hair then so can boys and it's a personal choice. Length of hair should not be in the dress code. I understand how dreads are a cleanliness issue and how hot pink hair would be a distraction but length is not and they need to stop discriminating against boys. Is it against the rules for girls to have short hair?? I highly doubt it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    No Angela, what we think of as America no longer exists. We live in an oligarchy in which the very wealthy have rights but the rest of us don't.

  10. Anonymous says:

    No matter the race, education is learning. Appearance of hair cuts or not shouldn't effect teaching or learning.

  11. Anonymous says:

    God Bless America, we can speak our peace if we need to , and not be opressed, other countries have rules for their people, and they had better adhere to them or face beheading. I try to remember that when i feel violated. Religious or not we're still a free people.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I 'm not native . what is the big deal of hair? he never came bringing weapon he came to learn and wanted to learn. If kid comes long hair or not open with welcoming arm and say what do you want to learn today

  13. Quelle stupide réaction des enseignants! ne peuvent-ils pas respecter les coutumes? e peuvent-ils pas faire preuve de tolérance? Ce jeune Seminole a le droit d'aller à son école et d'y être respecté !

  14. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable!! Please do not remove him from the school. The school (district) has to learn that they cannot, for any reason, tell a child and/or the parents how hair should be groomed, an no religious exemption should be necessary.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Umm. The new clip specifies that they pre-enrolled him. As such, the school was lax in their duty to inform. The parent should have been advised an exemption would be required at time of enrollment. Unless this school is different than every other school I've had contact with, the staff had contact with the kid well before first day and would have seen the hair; it should have been brought up then.

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