Discrimination over the refusal to cut his locs has earned a teenage Rastafarian indefinite suspension from a Louisiana school. The cutting of hair goes against Rastafarian belief. Instead hair is kept in its natural state and allowed to grow freely.

The Raw Story reports, the teen’s mother sent a letter to the school superintendent outlining the significance of hair within the religion penned from the 1st Church of Rastafar I. Allegedly, the superintendent responded that the reason was not good enough for the school to over look dreadlocks.

When she asked what type of documentation would suffice, the superintendent told her he was not a lawyer.

imagesThe ACLU stands in support of the teen and has contacted the Plaquemines Parish School Board via letter on Monday. In my opinion, the ACLU is on point. They understand that this is another case of discrimination against religious freedom. The ACLU supports the young teen because they know his religious freedoms are being trampled on. I support him because he needs to be in school AND this is a violation of his right to practice religious freedom.

The cultural issue is huge and other folk not understanding the courage it takes to wear locs in a society that values straight hair are additional problems. He was sent home when school resumed earlier this month for being in non-compliance of the “No hair below the collar rule”. When he returned it was pinned up and above the collar. The youth has missed nearly three weeks of school thus far on an indefinite suspension. He’s as brown and cute as he can be and in his picture exudes confidence. How dare anyone try and take that away.
His mother is standing by her son and their spirituality as practicing Rastafarians. I hope he doesn’t cut his hair and the district is made to acknowledge their grave error. He needs to be in class for sure, perhaps not at that particular school. Get it together Louisiana!
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About The Author

C. Imani Williams, is a freelance writer and social justice activist. She works to bring about awareness and positive change. Imani's writing has appeared in Black Fem Lit Magazine, Alt. Variety, Teen Girl Talk Magazine, Diva Gossip, Hello Shopper, Geleyi and various other publications. Imani, holds an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction writing from Antioch University. The Detroit, Michigan native resides in So. California, where she greets the sun with a smile.

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