Court backs boy with braids

Austin American-Statesman - - LOCALBRIEFING -

A fed­eral ap­peals court ruled on Fri­day that a Texas school district can­not pun­ish an Amer­i­can In­dian kinder­gart­ner for wear­ing his hair in tra­di­tional braids to ex­press his fam­ily’s re­li­gious be­liefs.

The 5th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals in New Or­leans up­held a Hous­ton lower court rul­ing.

The 5-year-old wears his 13-inch-long hair in two long braids out­side his shirt. The Needville In­de­pen­dent School District ar­gued its groom­ing pol­icy re­quires a boy’s hair to not cover his ears or touch the top of his shirt col­lar.

School of­fi­cials ini­tially re­fused to ex­empt the boy but later al­lowed him to wear a sin­gle braid tucked into his shirt. His par­ents chal­lenged that pro­posal.

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