Kindergarten Sends Black 5-Year-Old Home Over ‘Distracting’ Haircut That His Classmates Also Have
A five-year-old boy with a very cute and pretty conservative haircut was sent home from kindergarten at his Catholic school because teachers said his style was too distracting and might “unduly influence the student body,” despite the fact that his mother says she’s seen similar haircuts on Caucasian boys in his class.
According to Mercury News, Jalyn Broussard was attending kindergarten at the Immaculate Heart of Mary school in Belmont, California, when he got his hair styled into a “modern fade.” The look features close-cropped sides and a top that is very slightly longer, though not more than half an inch long. It’s a very normal hairstyle, and totally appropriate for a five-year-old. But Jalyn’s mother, Mariana Broussard, says that she received a call shortly after dropping him off for class demanding she come and get him and not bring him back until he had different hair.
“How is he going to be an undue influence,” Broussard asked, “my little kindergartner?”
Broussard, however, says she’s seen the same sort of haircut on other boys in Jalyn’s class, and she thinks the main difference was the texture of his hair. She said he was embarrassed by the whole ordeal.
“He knew exactly what it was about — because of how his hair as an African-American looked,” Broussard said. “It was difficult.”
Broussard says she shaved Jalyn’s head that night so that he could attend school Christmas festivities that he had been looking forward to, but he cried because he did not want to be bald for Christmas. Afterwards, Broussard says she met with the school principal and brought photos of other children in the class with the same or similar haircuts as evidence that Jalyn was being singled out for the texture of his hair, and photos of Michael Strahan, who wears the same hair style. But Broussard says the school administrators dug their heels in and refused to budge.
Broussard removed both her children from Heart of Mary and are now sending them to a different school, which she describes as “more culturally aware.”
Jalyn says he was sad to leave his friends at the original school, but he likes the new one because it has a big playground, and he likes that he has his haircut back.
“I think it looks good on me,” he said.