Covering Louisiana

Aug 28, 2014 2:55 PM by Dave Fields

ACLU: Agreement reached with school district about student's dreadlocks

Representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are reporting that they have reached a written agreement with Plaquemines Parish School System regarding a student with dreadlocks who had been sent home from school.

According to an ACLU release, the student received a written exemption from the school's hair length policy for the student's religiously-mandated dreadlocks.

After allowing the Rastafarian student back into South Plaquemines High School Tuesday, school district administrators continued to negotiate with ACLU representatives. The release explained that other issues are still being discussed, including what the ACLU says is the school's responsibility to help the student catch up with schoolwork missed during that period.

The ACLU complaint alleged that the school district's dress code prohibiting the student's long hair violated his freedoms of religion and expression. There are Rastafarians who say they believe their religion requires them grow long dreadlocks. To prevent the student from going to class, the ACLU argued, was in violation of both statutes and the constitution.

"The ACLU will continue to seek redress for this student to ensure that his wrongful suspension does not negatively affect his education and future," said Candice Sirmon, ACLU of Louisiana Staff Attorney.




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