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Braids ban unacceptable to Arizona mother

Posted at 12:14 PM, Feb 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-02 12:14:16-05

PHOENIX  (KNXV/CNN) - Brittany Anderson was fine with the policies at Teleos Prep Academy in Phoenix, regulating everything from attendance to clothing. But they would not, she said, “dictate how my son can wear his hair.”

Anderson’s seventh-grader, Nasir, attended Teleos for months without issue. But then Anderson received a call informing her Nasir’s haircut violated the school’s code. She responded by pulling him from the academy.

“Where’s my son’s individuality? At this point, my son, he feels like it’s his fault and it’s not his fault. That’s what outrages me the most,” Anderson said.

The regulation is outlined on page 49 of the school’s handbook, which lists braids as one of a number of hairstyles that are not allowed.

Anderson said she hadn’t noticed it in the handbook before, but wondered why so much time had passed without anyone saying anything.

“I understand this if you pointed it out to me earlier in the year,” she said. “I would have nipped it in the bud and not let him grow his hair out, but because you’re just telling me this is the new year, the school year is almost over, you’re wanting me to cut his hair.

“I’m not going to do it.”

The umbrella organization for Teleos and other schools, Great Hearts Academies, issued a statement which said, “We understand parents have a choice about where their children attend school, and some may not agree with our dress code policy, which is certainly their right.

“We’re sorry to see this family leave the Teleos Prep Community, but we fully respect their decision to do so.”

Anderson has already enrolled Nasir in a new school. She said it was simply a mater of principle.  

“I’m challenging this handbook. Everything else I’m perfectly fine. Attendance, call-ins, uniform policy, clothing wise. That’s all well and said," Anderson said.

“But you’re not going to dictate how my son can wear his hair.”

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