Texas court rules school can’t make black teen cut dreadlocks

Kaden Bradford (Photo: CNN)

Kaden Bradford will no longer have to cut his locs to attend school and participate in extracurricular activities. The teenager who attended Barbers Hill High School in Texas, US was told to cut his hair in January and was given in-school suspension when he did not comply. He transferred to another school to finish out the school year.

But a federal court blocked the district from enforcing its hair-length policy against him. US District Court Judge George C. Hanks, Jr issued a preliminary injunction this week that requires the Barbers Hill Independent School District in Mont Belvieu, Texas, to allow Kaden Bradford to attend school and participate in extracurricular activities without cutting his hair.

“Locs is a natural black hair formation and I am an African American,” Bradford told CNN. “Also to piggyback off of that I’ve grown up around the Trinidadian culture and locs is a very important part in that culture as well.”

Bradford has been wearing his hair in locs since the seventh grade and hasn’t cut it since then because the locs would unravel.

He wore his locs up in a hairband to comply with the school’s grooming code, which said male students’ hair “will not extend, at any time, below the eyebrows, below the ear lobes, or below the top of a T-shirt collar.”

The district tightened its policy in December, saying that male students could not wear their hair gathered up in a style that would be too long when it’s let down.