The 7th grader was told his haircut did not adhere with the dress code and he would face discipline unless he allowed the shape of the hair carving to be filled in with a marker.https://t.co/7yDPdQkJRJ
— ABC 7 Amarillo (@ABC7Amarillo) August 19, 2019
Okay, this is messed up. In April, school officials at Pearland Independent School District in Texas used marker to color in the zigzag design shaved into a 13-year-old boy’s haircut because they claim it did not adhere to the district’s dress code, KHOU reported. The code states that “hair must be neat, clean and well-groomed. Extreme hair styles such as carvings, mohawks, spikes, etc. are not allowed,” according to the news outlet — so officials told him he could either enter in-school suspension or have the design colored in with Sharpie.
Um, say what?
The understandably angry parents have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the school district. The school’s then-assistant principal (who now serves as head principal), a teacher and a discipline clerk have all been named in the lawsuit along with the school district.
The complaint states that the discipline clerk and teacher laughed as they were filling in the boy’s hair and that the marker only made the design all the more visible.
“The jet-black markings did not cover the haircut design line but made the design more prominent and such was obvious to those present at the very beginning of the scalp blackening process,” the complaint says, according to the news outlet.
The boy’s parents say they were never notified of the incident and would have cut their son’s hair that day if they’d known.
“When it first happened, I was very upset because I didn’t find out until after he got off the bus and he got into the car and said, ‘Look what they did to my head,’” Angela Washington, the boy’s mother, said, according to KTRK.
After the incident, Pearland ISD released a statement saying, “A campus administrator mishandled disciplinary action by giving the student options including notifying his mother, disciplinary consequences or filling in the shape of the hair carving with a marker. This latter practice is not condoned by the district and does not align with appropriate measures for dress code violations.”
The statement also said the campus administrator was put on leave and that the district had apologized to those involved, KPRC reported.
The school had not responded to the lawsuit, according to the news outlet.
So not only did the school staff do this with the express intent of humiliating this poor boy, but they also used an unseemly amount of Sharpie on his skin –which can have detrimental health effects. In fact, Penn State bloggers have noted that “the King / massive sized Sharpie the Touch-Up Sharpie and the Magnum Sharpie all contain xylene can be very harmful to the body” if it enters the bloodstream.