When I was growing up, I had a pretty good understanding about what it meant to be Rastafarian. I understood they didn’t cut their hair, and I understood why. It was a way of life. Parts of my family are Rastafarian, so I got it. The thought of a school banning a child because of their hair and religious preferences goes against everything I thought this country stood for.
We haven’t heard a story like this one in awhile, but the ACLU of Louisiana has come to the defense of a boy who is Rastafarian, and has been suspended from his school because his dreadlocks are considered a violation of the school dress code.
The boy pinned his hair up, but was still told that he could not come back to school until his hair was cut off. Rastafarians believe that the Bible forbids them to cut their hair. Leviticus 21:5 states:
“They shall not make any baldness on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts in their flesh.”
According to The Huffingpost:
“The ACLU sent a letter to Plaquemines Parish School Board and South Plaquemines High School this week. The student belongs to the Rastafarian religion, which holds that men should refrain from cutting their hair and grow it in long dreadlocks.
“The South Plaquemines High School dress code says that “Boys’ hair may not extend lower than the top of a school shirt collar” or be “pinned up, pulled back, or put in a pony tail.” As a result, the student – whom the ACLU did not name – was told he could not return to school “as long has his hair remains in dreadlocks,” even though administrators were aware of his religious practices, according to the letter.”
Feel free to check out the letter here. Another sad story. I will never understand why it is better to deprive a child of his or her education because of what grows out of their head. Let’s see how this turns out.