Five-year-old Malachi Wilson couldn’t wait for his first day of kindergarten. But last week his school in Seminole, Texas, sent him home because his hair was too long.
According to Malachi’s parents, who are part of the Navajo Nation, cutting their son's hair is against their religion.
“Our hair is sacred to us; it makes us who we are,” April Wilson, Malachi’s mom, told KOB 4.
The Seminole Independent School District said that it was only following procedure, noting that proper documentation of religious or spiritual beliefs was required for exceptions. After F.J. Young Elementary turned Malachi away, his mother contacted the Navajo Nation.
“When [the American Indian movement] contacted the superintendent,” Wilson said, “they had told them that they were going to accept Malachi into school.”
Schools have lately been beefing up disciplinary actions toward young students. Last year, Mississippi police escorted a five-year-old boy out of school because his shoes were the wrong color. In Oklahoma, a school superintendent recently came under fire for asking female high school students to bend over to check the length of their shorts.
Though Malachi was enrolled by the end of the school day, Wilson said her son will never have his first day of kindergarten back.
“It’s kind of heartbreaking, because how do you explain to a five-year-old that he is being turned away because of what he believes in, because of religion, because of what’s part of him?” she told the news station.
Wilson is planning to seek advice from a lawyer for a possible discrimination case.
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Original article from TakePart