A young boy’s parents have filed a civil rights lawsuit against their son’s school after a group of school administrators colored in their child’s haircut design with a permanent marker.
The parents filed a federal lawsuit against the Pearland ISD and three of its employees on Sunday. The lawsuit named school discipline clerk Helen Day, principal Tony Barcelona, and teacher Jeanette Peterson from Berry Miller Jr. High, outside of Houston, TX for covering up seventh-grader Juelz Trice’s haircut because it reportedly violated school dress code.
Juelz had a cool “M” design etched into his haircut when he arrived at school back in April but was ordered to go to the school discipline clerk who then showed him a copy of the Pearland dress code. The principal, Barcelona is accused of telling Juelz that he had to stay inside in-school suspension until his hair grew out or until it was colored in.
The lawsuit claims that Day used a black Sharpie to color in the design on Juelz’s head without parental consent. It accuses Peterson of watching the incident unfolding and asking Day to continue coloring the student’s head, ABC13 reports. The lawsuit says the three administrators reportedly laughed at Juelz during the troubling incident.
The school district later acknowledged that the assistant principal “mishandled” the situation and that the assistant principal’s actions “do not align with appropriate measures for dress code violations.”
“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,’” recalled Juelz’s mother, Angela Washington.
The school’s dress code stated that “the hair must be neat, clean and well-groomed” in addition to “Extreme hairstyles such as carvings, mohawks, spikes, etc. are not allowed.”
However, the school’s dress code policy has since been changed.
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