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A Texas school board faced a lawsuit after issuing an in-school suspension to an 11-year-old boy who came to class with braided hair in honor of his Black heritage.
Hope Cozart said her son, Maddox, spent more than a week isolated in a cubicle at Raymond Mays Middle School, part of the Troy Independent School District, the New York Daily News reported.
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Maddox is biracial. His father is Black, and his mother is White, according to KCEN-TV.
She told KCEN-TV that Maddox and his sister wanted to learn about their African heritage.
“We try to teach our kids about all of their culture. Black, white, Native-American, everything,” Cozart explained. “They like to explore their culture. We looked at African Tribes and how they braid their hair up. Bantu knots and all the meanings of all that.”
The school reportedly claimed the hairstyle violated its ban against boys’ wearing ponytails, top knot, bun, or similar hairstyles.
Cozart called the policy outdated.
“Middle school is the hardest years for a lot of kids. For you to single them out because of their hair. That, that’s crazy. Kids should be able to express themselves and hair does not affect your education,” she told KCEN-TV.
Superintendent Neil Jeter declined to comment to the TV station because “It would not be appropriate for me to discuss disciplinary action involving specific students.”
Change.org launched a petition campaign in support of Maddox.