PEARLAND, Texas – An administrator at a Texas middle school is on leave after he allegedly used a marker to color in a student’s haircut design that didn’t meet the dress code.
The Berry Miller Junior High School student, Juelz Trice, told KTRK he was given two choices: accept an in-school suspension or allow the administrator to “color it in.”
The seventh-grader’s parents say they are upset that the school didn’t notify them, and that they only found out when their son got off the bus and told them what happened. His father, Dante Trice, also told the station he worries about the chemicals in the ink that went into his son’s pores where the line, in the shape of an M, had been freshly shaved.
“Punishing students for their style of hair is a discriminatory practice,” his mother told KPRC in an email. “The first paragraph of the district press release is meant to blame (her son) instead of immediately taking responsibility for the actions of the (assistant principal).”
Pearland Independent School District officials issued the following statement Wednesday:
Pearland ISD is extremely disappointed to learn of a situation that occurred at Berry Miller Junior High.
A student recently arrived at school with a haircut which violated district dress code. Pearland ISD’s dress code states: “Hair must be neat, clean and well groomed. Extreme hair styles such as carvings, mohawks, spikes, etc. are not allowed.”
A campus administrator mishandled disciplinary action by giving the student options including notifying his mother, disciplinary consequences or filling in the shape of the hair carving with a marker. This latter practice is not condoned by the district and does not align with appropriate measures for dress code violations.
The campus administrator is currently on administrative leave. Further action is forthcoming.
District administration has contacted the student’s family to express our sincerest apology and extreme disappointment in this situation, which does not fall in line with the values of Pearland ISD.