The parents of a boy, whose hair cut design was colored in with permanent marker by school administrators, have filed a federal lawsuit against the Pearland ISD and three of its employees.
On Sunday, a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed against Pearland ISD, school discipline clerk Helen Day, principal Tony Barcelona, and teacher Jeanette Peterson from Berry Miller Jr. High, outside of Houston for covering up seventh-grader Juelz Trice’s haircut because it reportedly violated the dress code.
At the center of the dispute is an “M” which appeared in the haircut design and the student was ordered to go to the school discipline clerk who then showed him a copy of the Pearland dress code.
The principal, Barcelona reportedly said Juelz had to remain in in-school suspension until his hair grew out or until it was colored in.
The lawsuit claims that Day took a black Sharpie and colored in the design on Juelz’s head without parental consent. It also states that Peterson saw the incident unfolding and asked Day to continue coloring the student’s head, and she complied, ABC13 reported.
The three reportedly laughed at the boy during the troubling incident, his family said.
The district later acknowledged that the assistant principal “mishandled” the situation. The district said that the assistant principal’s actions “do not align with appropriate measures for dress code violations.”
“When it first happened, I was very upset because I didn’t find out until after he got off the bus and he got into the car and said, ‘Look what they did to my head,'” recalled Juelz’s mother, Angela Washington.
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The dress code stated that “the hair must be neat, clean and well-groomed.”
And “Extreme hairstyles such as carvings, mohawks, spikes, etc. are not allowed.”
The dress code policy has since been changed.
Juelz’ father Dante Trice said since his son had just gotten his hair cut the day before.