Black boys should not be banned from schools for having dreadlocks. Many wear dreadlocks for cultural, religious or spiritual reasons.
They are discriminated against because of their hair in schools by leaders, teachers and peers. A high school in Kentucky had school leaders who felt like dreadlocks impact appearance and academics. Imagine being a Black boy and told you have to change how you look because it doesn’t fit the academic success appearance.
A school district in Florida banned a Black boy from their school because of his dreadlocks. Now parents of Black boys with locs are speaking out against this stereotypical injustice.
Other schools highlights dreadlocks and other “urban” hairstyles as inappropriate for school culture. Schools banning Black boys for having dreadlocks are the problem; not Black boys or dreadlocks.
About six years ago I started wearing my hair locked and it empowered the Black boys!
I wanted Black boys with locks in my classes to feel seen. I went against the traditional views of what teachers should look like so they could see they have the strength to defeat negative stereotypes of Black males in our society.
That’s what we must do in schools and society for our Black boys to have a chance.
In fact, they can now see themselves with locs at the White House, board rooms, in leadership roles or being productive. I chose to be a reflection for them as a Black Male Educator with locs.
Our Black boys need affirmation and that begins by embracing locks and other cultural expressions.
It’s imperative for us help our Black boys embrace how they look and who they are. We too express ourselves through what we wear, our language and even our hair.
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.