Jaylon Sewell decided to dye his hair in the style of Odell Beckham Jr., the wide receiver for the New York Giants, and he was shocked when that fashion decision was met with swift backlash at his school.
The 16-year-old, who is a good student and manager of the football team at Neville High School in Monroe, Louisiana, was allegedly barred from attending class because of his hair, according to the New York Daily News.
According to a complaint lodged by his family with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, he was discriminated against despite the fact that “white students with dyed hair were allowed to attend class.”
What’s more, the complaint alleges that the school district retaliated against Jaylon by “suspending him, attempting to expel him, and barring him from participation on the NHS football team.” They also alleged that Jaylon and 20 other black students have repeatedly been targeted and harassed for their hairstyles by school administrators who have even gone so far as to say that their hairstyles were “too nappy” in some cases.
An open investigation into the matter is still ongoing.
The Monroe City Schools dress code states, “Hair styles, and hair dyed outlandish colors which cause a disruption to the educational process shall not be allowed.”