DeAndre Arnold, a teenager of Trinidadian heritage in Texas, was suspended and told he wouldn’t be able to participate in the graduation ceremony if he did not cut his dreadlocks to meet the school’s district dress code.
DeAndre, who attends Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, about 30 miles east of Houston, told Houston’s KPRC, that he was compliant with the school rules about his hair until recently when he faced in-school suspension after he refused to cut it. Arnold said like his Trinidadian father, he has been wearing his dreadlocks for years and has always followed the school’s dress code by tying them up.
“I really like that part of Trinidadian culture, so, I mean I really embrace that,” he told the station.
Arnold’s mother, Sandy, told the station that after Christmas break and three months before graduation, the school changed its dress code regarding hair. The new rules stipulate that “hair must be clean and well-groomed” and not extend on male students, at any time, below the eyebrows, the ear lobes or the top of a T-shirt collar—including when let down.