Students Accused of Forcibly Cutting Native American's Long Hair in Class

A school district in Oklahoma has launched an investigation after a Native American boy had his hair cut against his will by other students.

Mid-Del Public School's superintendent Rick Cobb confirmed in a letter to parents that the school is aware of the incident, which involved a 7-year-old child at Del City Elementary, and promised to discipline those responsible.

Speaking to KOCO 5 News, the family of the Native American boy described the incident as one of the worst forms of bullying they can imagine.

"This is not gonna fly. At all. This ain't right," said Jamil Garcia, whose son, Andreas, had his hair cut.

"He has not smiled since this happened. And he's always smiling and he's never like this."

The boy's mother, Denise Gonzalez, added: "This is our tradition. He had beautiful, long hair and all of a sudden it gets cut. It hurts."

The boy also described the incident to KOCO and said that a teacher failed to see it happening.

"After I was done doing my homework, they started cutting my hair," Andreas said. "The teacher wasn't looking. She was just on her laptop."

The parents of the child said they are angry at the teacher for not noticing the children cutting the boy's hair and also for the school not taking action sooner.

The school said it is not able to complete the investigation until the children have been spoken to after they return from Spring Break on Monday.

"How do you not notice two kids standing over someone and getting their hair cut?" Garcia said.

"Knowing that the school did not contact me at all until Saturday morning [5 March] and yet they want to investigate it, but not until Monday when school goes back in, so I feel like they were just trying to sweep it under the rug."

In the letter to parents, Cobb said the investigation into the incident began on the day on which it occurred.

"Unfortunately, this was followed by a snow day and then Spring Break. While this time away from school has led to some delays in the investigation, we are taking this incident very seriously," Cobb said.

"We recognize the cultural significance of hair to our students' identities and do not take this lightly. Any students found to be involved will receive discipline in a manner consistent with steps outlined in our student handbook."

The Mid-Del Public School district has been contacted for an update.

indian hair
Students from Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory of North America prepare to dance on Hollywood Boulevard during an event celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day on October 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. A school district in Oklahoma has launched an investigation after a Native American boy had his hair cut against his will by other students. David McNew/Getty Images