Mom says her son is being denied an education because of his long hair

- A mom says her 4-year-old son is being denied an education because of his long hair.

Jessica Oates's son attends the Pre-K in the Barber Hills School District.  Oates says at first the school told her he could keep his long hair for "cultural or religious" reasons. But later she says the school told her his long hair wasn't allowed. According to Oates, she and her son showed up for school Monday and her son wasn't allowed in the building.

Barbers Hill ISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Poole released this statement:

Barbers Hill ISD believes in the sanctity of local control. Our policies, including expectations of appearance, are fashioned by our Board of Trustees, all of whom are taxpayers in the Barbers Hill school district and have had children attend our schools.

Barbers Hill is one of the premier districts in the state by any measure, and our student enrollment has grown for each of the past 30 years. Much of this growth has been fueled by those who are seeking a rigorous educational environment of high expectations for their children.  

Parents have a right to seek an appropriate educational setting for their child, just as Ms. Oates has the right to place her child in a district that reflects her personal expectations for standards of appearance.  There are procedures in place for addressing concerns over policy if it is Ms. Oates’ desire to have her son educated in Barbers Hill ISD. But we would and should justifiably be criticized if our district lessened its expectations or longstanding policies simply to appease.

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