U.S.

Father Files Lawsuit After Christian School Turned Away First Grader with Dreadlocks

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A Book's Christian Academy in Apopka, Florida. The parent of a 6-year-old said he filed a lawsuit on Thursday after his son was denied entry to the school because of his dreadlocks. SCREENSHOT/GOOGLE MAPS

A father has filed a lawsuit against a Christian school in Florida after his six-year-old son was turned away from starting his first day at school because of his hair.

Clinton Stanley Sr. filed a lawsuit with the help of the ACLU and NAACP Legal Defense Fund against A Book Christian Academy in Apopka, Florida.

“It’s not right for a school to take taxpayer dollars while singling out and shaming Black natural hair,” Stanley wrote on a blog on the ACLU website. “On behalf of my son and other Black children in my community, I'm urging the Florida Department of Education to hold A Book's Christian Academy accountable.”

In August, Stanley took his six-year-old son, CJ, to A Book’s Christian Academy to start his first day at school in the first grade. Stanley posted a Facebook live video showing school employees telling Stanley and CJ that he could not be enrolled in the school because of his hair. The video has been viewed over 600,000 times as of Thursday.

screen-shot-2018-08-15-10 A Book's Christian Academy in Apopka, Florida. The parent of a 6-year-old said he has filed a lawsuit against the school after his son was denied entry to the school because of his dreadlocks. SCREENSHOT/GOOGLE MAPS

Stanley had previously told Newsweek that his nephew had 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 previously said.

Orange County Commissioner Rod Love previously told Newsweek that the situation was unfortunate, but the school has a dress code to follow.

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

Stanley’s video resulted in death threats toward the school, which concerned the staff members and the parents of the children who attend the private school.

“They’ve got so many calls, threats and law enforcement has been here,” Love previously told Newsweek. “It’s unfortunate we have to address something like this.”

Stanley Sr. wrote what the school did to his son was “terribly wrong” and wants to make sure the school will allow black students who enroll in the school to be accepted “for who they are.”

“I won’t stand by as schools like A Book's Christian Academy financially benefit from Black student enrollment while showing a disdain for Black students who bring their whole selves to class, Stanley wrote. “There is something terribly wrong with grooming codes that don't respect the cultures of their student bodies. The problem is not my son's hair. The problem is a school policy that doesn’t accept my son, and others like him, for who they are.”

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