I've strived for this. I deserve this moment, to walk across stage and enter into life. My parents deserve this. Like, they're the ones who, you know, they got me through anything. And you know, they just taught me everything. And I know that the school needs to do the right thing. The policy has been condemned as "racist" by critics in recent weeks, but school officials have pushed back, saying it has been in effect for years.
A second teenager at a Texas high school was suspended and told he could not return to class until he cut his dreadlocks to be in compliance with the school's dress code. Kaden's cousin, DeAndre Arnold, is a senior at the school and also wears dreadlocks. DeAndre, whose father is from Trinidad , said the men in his family often grow their dreadlocks, and that it is a part of his identity and culture. Bradford said in an interview Friday that like DeAndre, her son has worn dreadlocks for years and it only recently became an issue at the high school. Last year, Kaden would wear a headband to keep his dreadlocks off his shoulders, his mother said. The school told her that if Kaden kept his dreadlocks pulled back, he would not be in violation of its hair policy, she said.
Breaking News Emails
DeAndre Arnold, a senior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, near Houston, Texas, said he has worn dreadlocks for years and always followed the school's dress code by tying them up. He said his hair had been in compliance with school district rules until recently, when he faced in-school suspension after he refused to cut it. His mother, Sandy Arnold, said after the Christmas holiday, three months before graduation, the Barbers Hill Independent School District changed its dress code on hair. Now the rules stipulate that for male students "hair must be clean and well groomed" and not extend below the eyebrows, the ear lobes or the top of a T-shirt collar - including when let down. I don't take it down at school. Sandy Arnold said that, as a result of the rule change, her son is not allowed in school and can't attend graduation until he complies with the dress code. When asked if she would cut his hair, she responded, "Absolutely not. This is his culture.
At the start of the segment, DeGeneres told Arnold, "I'm sure this is not easy or comfortable for you," referring to his appearance on television. Arnold has said he was suspended over the length of his dreadlocks and told by his principal that he needed to cut his hair to return to school. Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics. This is the first time anything has come up. And now, you haven't been in school for weeks because of this situation. Arnold has worn dreadlocks for years and has said he always followed the dress code because he kept his hair off his shoulders, above his earlobes and out of his eyes, by tying up his dreadlocks. He told DeGeneres he was informed he was in violation of the dress code after the Christmas break. DeAndre deserves better.