Original broadcast appeared on ABC7 News.
by vic lee
The parents of an African American kindergarten student who was kicked out of a Belmont classroom because of his haircut have filed a federal civil rights complaint. The archdiocese responded on Monday night, telling us that it has not seen the complaint, but that the school hair policy is explicit. It’s a story you’ll see only on ABC7 News.
Last December, 6-year-old Jalyn Broussard went to his class at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School with a new hairdo. It’s called a faded cut, which is slightly longer at the top and short on the sides.
“He was excited, you know?” said his mother, Mariana Broussard. “He had chosen this haircut, he was really excited about it because they usually go bald or short afro, so he was excited to have something different.”
That excitement suddenly turned to tears. His mother got a call from his teacher saying his haircut violated school policy.
“She said, ‘well, in these situations it’s much better that the child be removed from the school environment so they’re not an undue influence on the rest of the school population,'” said Broussard.
She had no choice but to take Jalyn home.
Broussard got his hair cut. But in the meantime, she kept asking school officials why this happened.
The school policy bans extreme hairstyles, fauxhawks, tails spiking, and such. But mentioned nothing that looked like his hair cut.
Plus, there were other students who maybe should have been questioned too because of their hair length.
“I do believe that he was discriminated against,” she said. “There are lots of kids who have hair that’s longer in the middle, that’s shorter on the sides.”
“The only difference is the texture of his hair because he’s an African American,” said her attorney, Jennifer Bezoza with Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.
Broussard says email communications with the school produced no new answers. In late January, she pulled Jalyn and his older brother out of the school and filed a complaint.
Broussard would love to ask President Barack Obama what he thinks of all this. Earlier this month, when he arrived at San Francisco International Airport, 8-year-old Tyler Branch got to meet him.
“I got to shake his hand and he said he liked my Mohawk,” said Branch.
Wonder what the president would say about Jalyn’s hair?