And you knew that I'd be right on top of it.
Derek Jackson, a seventh grader at Bailey Middle School in Austin, TX was suspended from school because his barber had cut his hair too short!
Derek's mother, Amanda, says she met with Bailey Middle School Principal Dr. Julia Fletcher, and Dr. Fletcher told her that the issue was "not worth the fight".According to the article, Derek's hairstyle violated the school's dress code and was a "distraction."
Leaders of Austin's NAACP are convinced the suspension of Derek Jackson is racially motivated. [The Jacksons are black.] Nelson Linder with the NAACP says there's no other reason he can think of why a 7th grader would get in-school suspension for having hair that's too short.
The only reason that I can think of for this rule would be the implications of a white bald-headed boy--that such a kid might be a junior skin-head. However, unless young Derek were a part of some skin-head diversity program, the likelihood that he is a junior-flip skin-head seems low.
And even if Derek were white what would be the big deal? Boys and men traditionally wear their hair short and, along with that, barbers make mistakes--as I well know--sometimes taking a bigger chunk out than intended and having to cut the rest down for symmetry's sake. On top of that, black boys and men--and not a few of their white counterparts--have been cutting their hair down to zero for a very long time with no political or social implications located therein; for the most part, looking great, and in the case of the adult men, very professional. Hasn't this woman ever heard of Yul Brenner (or Cobb for that matter)?
So why is having a bald head against this school's dress again? (I'm betting that if Derek had a big fluffy Afro or cornrows or locks, the principal wouldn't have uttered a peep.)
To me, this sounds like a "boy" issue, rather than a racial one. Lately, boy children can't catch a break--for acting like boys, or, as it appears in this case, for being groomed like one. However, the case is racial in this manner, albeit accidentally: the drop-out rate for black boys is alarmingly high. One should think that the principal of this school would not want provide one of the proverbial camel's straws for at least one black male child which might lead to that child becoming a small part of that statistic--especially for such a ridiculous matter.
Dr. Fletcher certainly has infinitely more important matters to attend to.
(Thanks to Crunk & Disorderly)