Tiffany Brown is exposing her son’s school, Spring Valley Elementary School, for the letter she received before the holiday break. The note advised her to abide by their dress code and cut off her 6-year-old son Jonathan's dreadlocks by the time he returned from the break. Tiffany, an author, shared the appalling note on Twitter with a message questioning what her son’s hairstyle had to do with his ability to learn.
“Hair must not be lower than the bottom of the ears or collar in the back,” the letter dictates, accompanied by a handwritten note stating “please cut by Jan. 8th.”
“Children of color have been targeted for many years, because of what others see as the norms in our society,” Brown told Yahoo Lifestyle. “Because of these norms that are blinding people in our society, some people have stated that dreadlocks are a fashion statement and my child should conform and express himself when he’s older. Dreadlocks are part of my African culture, not a fashion statement.”
When Jonathan returned on January 8 with the same hairstyle, he was called into the school’s office to “speak with him about his Christmas break.” The meeting ended up being about his hair. “My son Jonathan went from loving his hair yesterday to opting to cut his hair today, after this meeting,” Tiffany said. “Yesterday, he loved his hair and didn’t want it cut; today he’s frustrated and doesn’t, after speaking with a school official.”
Brown is determined to “ensure the rights and liberties of every child are respected and protected” through this incident regarding her son. Last month, Buena Regional High School wrestler Andrew Johnson was forced to cut his dreadlocks on the spot in order to compete in a match. Back in November, Florida native Clinton Stanley filed a complaint for illegal racial discrimination after he was told that his 6-year-old son CJ needed to cut his dreadlocks because it violated their dress code.