March 20, 2011

School suspends long-haired Houma boy

ACLU:  La. school suspends Native American teen for long hair that's religious, cultural customA Livingston Parish school suspended a 13-year-old Native American boy who grows his hair long for cultural and religious reasons, the American Civil Liberties Union said.

Seth Chaisson of the United Houma Nation has the same right to long hair that a Christian student has to wear a cross or a Jewish boy to wear a yarmulke to school, the ACLU said. But he was repeatedly reprimanded before a two-day suspension from Juban Park Junior High in Denham Springs, ACLU executive director Marjorie Esman said Friday.

"This is not a teenage rebellious whim. This is serious religion," she said.

Ed Foster, supervisor of child welfare and attendance for the Livingston Parish School System, said he has scheduled a meeting next Friday with the boy's mother. He said he could not discuss the situation further, citing privacy concerns.

The ACLU wants the boy's record cleared of all discipline because of his hair, and a guarantee that he won't be disciplined again for it.
Comment:  I guess Southern school districts don't read the news about other Southern school districts. The same thing happened before in Texas, and the school district inevitably lost the case.

That's what'll happen this time too. This case is even more clearcut than the previous one. That boy was only of Native descent. This boy is apparently enrolled in the United Houma Nation.

For more on the subject, see Court Rules for Long-Haired Boy, School Needs to Regulate Hair?, and Long Hair = Religious Freedom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, there's plenty of precedent against this sort of discrimination.

My image of a school dress code is one which tends to have modesty (i.e., no halter tops or things of that nature) and doesn't allow drug-related, sexually explicit, or gang-related (including racist and other terrorist groups) wear.