/  04.29.2022

Black people continue to face hair discrimination in the year that is 2022. One high school student can’t even enroll into a school due to the style of his hair.

Dyree Williams has been proud of his hair for his entire life, but now that the 17-year old has moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to East Bernard, Texas, a new school dress code policy wants to strip him of a heritage that he is so proud of.

Per the East Bernard High School student handbook, “Boy’s hair may not extend below the eyebrows, below the tops of the ears or below a conventional standup shirt collar, and must not be more than one-inch difference in the length of the hair on the side to the length of the hair on top.”

Furthermore it specifically states that “braided hair or corn rows will not be allowed,” something that Williams’ mother, Desiree Bullock, says is “not an option.”

“Once you cut that hair off, you cut off your line to your ancestors, you cut off your lineage, you cut off everything,” said Bullock. “And just it’s not an option … We don’t consider them dreadlocks because we don’t dread them we love them.”

Since changing his hair is not an option for Williams, his mother made the decision to file for a religious exemption. It was denied by the district superintendent.

“The exemption request you filed has not been granted at this time. Assuming the children can meet the dress code requirements, as well as all necessary paperwork for enrollment, they are welcome to enroll with our district registrar,” said East Bernard Independent School District’s Superintendent Courtney Hudgins via email. “Please contact the registrar to make an appointment for enrollment. If you have any specific questions regarding the dress code, please contact the campus principal.”

When asked how the district came to their decision to deny the request, Bullock was met with no response.

With college right around the corner for the rising junior, Williams’ mother is saddened by the fact that her child is “missing opportunities to run track and get noticed by scouts for college scholarships.”

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