Catholic School That Turned Away 6-Year-Old with Dreadlocks Over Dress Code Violation Receives Threats

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A Book's Christian Academy in Apopka, Florida. The parent of a 6-year-old said he was denied entry to the school because of his dreadlocks. Screenshot/Google Maps

A 6-year-old boy with dreadlocks was not allowed to start his first day of class at a Christian private school in Florida because of his hair.

The son's father, Clinton Stanley Sr., first told the Orlando Sentinel that his child was not allowed to enter A Book's Christian Academy in Apopka, Florida, on Monday because of his dreadlocks. In a Facebook video posted by Stanley on Monday, a live feed shows school employees telling Stanley and his son, CJ, that he could not be enrolled in the school because of his hair.

The video has been viewed over 278,000 times, has garnered over 4,000 reactions and 2,000 shares on Facebook.

"The first day of school and I have to withdraw my son—that's crazy," Stanley can be heard saying in the video. "That's disrespectful and bias. I should have been told this months ago."

Stanley told Newsweek that he and CJ, who is black, arrived early to the school for orientation, but were immediately turned away by the school's administrator because of CJ's hair.

"She told me: 'We don't allow boys with hair below their ears. We don't allow dreads,'" Stanley said.

Stanley said CJ was so excited to start his first day of school and was sad when he was turned away. He told Newsweek that his nephew had also attended the private school and had no idea that his son would be turned away because of his hair.

"I never heard of these different complaints, because if I did I would have never put him this kind of situation," Stanley said.

The father of the 6-year-old said CJ has been enrolled in another school in Apopka and is excited about learning and meeting new friends. Stanley told Newsweek that he would like an apology from the school because of the incident.

According to the school handbook viewed by the Orlando Sentinel, the dress code states that the school requires boys to wear their hair short, which includes no dreadlocks. Over the phone with the school's administrator, Susan Book, she told Newsweek the school has received "negative reactions" from the video.

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A Book's Christian Academy in Apopka, Florida. The parent of a 6-year-old said he was denied entry to the school because of his dreadlocks. Screenshot/Google Maps

Orange County Commissioner Rod Love told Newsweek that he is aware of the situation and said it is a terrible one, but the school has a dress code and rules to follow.

"I'm not vilifying Mr. Stanley, I know our children are our weak spot," said Love. "We all have rules that we need to follow."

Love confirmed to Newsweek the private elementary school has received threats over the video and has concerned staff members and the parents of the children who attend the school.

"They've got so many calls, threats and law enforcement has been here," said Love. "It's unfortunate we have to address something like this."

A similar incident occurred in Massachusetts last year when two black girls were removed from their sports teams and not allowed to attend prom because they wore their hair in braids. Twin students Maya and Deanna Cook, who attended The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, were told by school officials they are not permitted to wear "anything artificial or unnatural in their hair."

Catholic School That Turned Away 6-Year-Old with Dreadlocks Over Dress Code Violation Receives Threats | U.S.