Berry Miller Junior High School in Pearland, Texas is under fire after school officials colored in an African-American boy’s haircut that was deemed “out of dress code.”
What We Know:
- On April 16, Ju’elz Trice got a fade haircut with an M-shaped design on the side of his head.
- The following day at school, Trice was given the choice to either serve in-school suspension or have his scalp colored in with permanent marker.
- BMJHS dress code reads: “Hair must be neat, clean and well groomed. Extreme hair styles such as carvings, mohawks, spikes, etc. are not allowed.”
- TODAY reported that the boy feared a suspension would affect his sports eligibility so he allowed the School Discipline Clerk, Helen Day, to color in the M-shaped design. Jeanette Peterson, one of the teachers, is accused of helping color in the design.
- His parents have filed a lawsuit against Pearland Independent School District, BMJHS Principal Tony Barcelona, Helen Day and Jeanette Peterson.
- “Due to the lack of training, lack of proper policies, lack of employee discipline, failure to fire or reassign the individual defendants, and pattern of racial discrimination J.T. is likely to experience further instances of discriminatory actions at the Pearland ISD,” the suit states.
- The suit also states that Trice suffered anxiety and depression after the incident. Other students allegedly bullied him over the colored in design. The family is seeking monetary damages for the incident.
- The school district has released a statement saying, “filling in the shape of the hair carving with a marker … is not condoned by the district and does not align with appropriate measures for dress code violations.”
- The school district did change their dress code policy. Haircut restrictions have since been removed.
Hopefully, Trice gets the justice he deserves.