A Christian school in Florida told 6-year-old Clinton J. Stanley, Jr. that he couldn’t attend his first day of school — because he had dreadlocks. You can watch the video, shot by C.J.’s father, above.
C.J.’s father, C.J. Stanley Sr, took his son to his first day of school at A Book’s Christian Academy, located at 1001 Roger Williams Road in Apopka, Florida. You can see that 6 year old C.J. is dressed up for school, in a blue button-down shirt and pressed pants. But teachers at the school tell C.J. and his father that the child can’t come to school because his hair is too long.
You can hear the distress in C.J. senior’s voice as he reacts to the news. “Stay calm,” he advises himself. “Don’t trip.”
He asks the teachers whether it would make any difference if he braids his son’s hair. And he points out that the teachers themselves have long hair going down to their shoulders. But the teachers simply reply that the rules are the rules.
A Book’s Academy Says There Is Nothing Racist About Its Rules — But Some Disagree
Sue Book, the school’s administrator, says there is nothing unusual about the school’s rules against long hair for boys. And she says the school has been dealing with an “unfair backlash” as outraged parents view the video of C.J. being turned away from school.
Book said that one man had threatened to burn the school down. She said she’s been dealing with “obscene, ugly” phone calls.
Some parents have been writing angry reviews of the school on Yelp, with one person writing, “Discriminatory practices towards children of color due to their *hair.* You couldn’t PAY ME to send my child there.” You can read more responses here.