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A Virginia family says their son has had dreadlocks since he was in the third grade but now his private school says he has to cut his hair if he wants to stay in school.

Isaiah Freeman’s family is disappointed in their son’s Virginia private school after they told the student he had to cut his dreadlocks if he wanted to stay at the institution, WTVR reports.

The 13-year-old has worn his dreadlocks at West End Christian School in Hopewell since the third grade. Now that he’s a seventh grader, school officials claim the student’s hair is a violation of school rules. The family said they pulled the young teen’s hair back so it didn’t cover his face or ears, but still received complaints.

His father, Shawn Freeman, spoke to reporters about the school’s lack of cultural knowledge.


“As he gets older people are uncomfortable with him having dreadlocks and getting older and bigger,” he said. “It’s an issue of people feeling uncomfortable with a young black male having dreadlocks and having a certain persona of negativity.”

Principal Amy Griggs said the dreadlocks aren’t the problem, but the length poses a threat to the school’s rules. The handbook says male students aren’t allowed to have hair past their shoulders. Griggs plans to look at the incident as a “learning experience” and is currently considering diversity training for faculty. She is also looking into updating the hair policy for 2017.

Meanwhile, the Freemans are searching for another school their son can attend so he is able to keep up within his grade. Isaiah has dreams of becoming a geologist and achieved admirable grades at the private school.



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Virginia Middle Schooler Removed From Private School Over Dreadlocks  was originally published on