“My family is American-Indian. We are Cocopah Indian and that was the documentation that I was going to provide for the reason for my son’s long hair,” Oates explained. “It’s a signal of strength.”

Jabez Oates’ long mane violates the appropriately named Barbers Hill Independent School District’s dress code and he may not return to his preschool until his hair is shorn, mom Jessica was told, CW39 reported

“I bought him all his school supplies, his school clothes, his backpack, and he was enthralled. Now he’s confused as to why he can’t go to school anymore,” Oates told the outlet.

She said she knew the long hair would violate the code but thought Jabez could be excused for cultural reasons.

The principal contacted the mom and told her documentation isn’t enough.

“Apparently, the school board is a stickler for rules and can’t think of any religions or cultures that would require long hair,” Oates said.

Jabez went to school two days last week—once with his long hair down and once with his hair in a bun—and both styles were deemed inappropriate, the outlet said.

He was sent home because the black hair tie used to put his hair in a bun was considered an “inappropriate hair accessory.”

Oates is now seeking out day-care options and said she has received tons of backlash for trying to preserve his cultural identity.

“It has been vile. A lot of people have told me to move and get out of here… I can’t home school because I work full time and I’m trying to find a second job. I’m a single mom and so home-schooling really just isn’t an option,” Oates said.

“All I have is the public school system and right now, that is absolutely failing my child.”

She’s started a petition in an attempt to change the “sexist” school dress code.

Schools Superintendent Greg Poole said Oates has the right to take her child elsewhere.

“Parents have a right to seek an appropriate educational setting for their child, just as Ms. Oates has the right to place her child in a district that reflects her personal expectations for standards of appearance,” Poole’s statement read.

“There are procedures in place for addressing concerns over policy if it is Ms. Oates’ desire to have her son educated in Barbers Hill ISD. But we would and should justifiably be criticized if our district lessened its expectations or longstanding policies simply to appease.”

Responses to "Cocopah Native boy banned from school for having long hair"

  1. She needs to get a lawyer. The school is violating his rights.

  2. Anonymous says:

    if he were muslim, you wouldn't kick him out for his appearance. saying his hair violates your dress code is total bs.

  3. Unknown says:

    This is a Native right's issue...the school district will not win. Have they not been paying attention to these issues coming up all over the Nation?

    Keep your son's hair long. It's beautiful, he's beautiful. He's a Native boy and should be allowed to hold on to his tribal and cultural identity.

  4. Unknown says:

    He is a handsome young man keeping true to his heritage. I hope his family fights this blatant racism! Stay strong!

  5. Anonymous says:

    First it is clear that his hair is not black.
    Next most tribes men did not have long hair.
    And just how long do you think it will be before it is cut off while you try to get rid of head lice which the younger grades are crazy with?
    You think you got no time now. Go ahead and time how long it takes to remove every egg. Because you miss one and they are out of school again.
    10 days out and you are in court explaining why you can't get a handle on the problem.
    Why is it parents bitch about the lack of shots for kids but no one here is saying they have been upset at least once with the poison they must repeatedly have to put on their children to get rid of a bugs? In fact having to treat everyone and thing in house as well.

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