Photo credits: The ACLU
Around the beginning of the current academic year, TheBlackHomeSchool.com profiled a six-year-old black boy named Clinton Stanley, Jr.
This precious child lives in the Greater Orlando, Florida Metro Area and was ready to begin his first exciting day of school for the 2018-19 year. Stanley’s parents had him enrolled in a private school called A Book’s Christian Academy, which is located in the central Floridian city of Apopka.
However, our digital media team was sad to report that on August 13, 2018, Stanley was turned away by the private Christian school.
The heartbroken boy was not allowed inside to attend class on his first day of school all because his hair was in dreadlocks, which is a banned hairstyle under the school’s strict dress and grooming code.
Clinton Stanley, Sr., the boy’s father, subsequently posted a cell phone video of himself trying to plead with a school administrator hoping that his son would be allowed to attend his first day of school. The father’s plea fell on deaf ears and the administrator refused to make any concessions or bend a single rule in its dress code.
This case garnered the attention of a number of national media outlets, including the Washington Post. Clinton Stanley, Sr.’s cell phone video was also watched by millions of people via social media. This caused a windfall of public outrage.
But now, the Stanley Family has struck back by filing a discrimination lawsuit against A Book’s Christian Academy.
“What are they saying about kids with dreadlocks — that they’re not capable of learning or are unintelligent? It seems to say, ‘We don’t want black people in our school,’” Stanley, Sr. said in an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle News.
The ACLU of Florida, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, as well as the Stanley Family have filed an administrative complaint against A Book’s Christian Academy, which argues that the school’s dress and grooming policy “violates both the anti-discrimination provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Florida law.”
“We know that locs are related to black culture and black identities, and policies that prohibit these types of hairstyles are often proxies for discrimination,” said Patricia Okonta of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle
“Additionally, the school’s policy lacks educational value so there’s no justification to uphold it. Both public and private schools are required to follow anti-discrimination laws,” she continued.