Principal Won’t Let Teen Attend Graduation Unless He Cuts His Hair Unaware Of Who Mom Is
Hear My Words
“You should have read the school’s rules and regulations before you came here,” the principal blurted out in a shrill tone.
Clenching his teeth, the young boy remained speechless.
There was no doubt that this wasn’t the first time a boy like him had been alienated without a proper cause. “Yes, sir,” he blankly replied, instantly turning to walk out of the office.
An Average Boy
The 18-year-old Leon DeAnton, a high school senior at a high school in Florida, was passionate about not much other than basketball and the dreadlocks adorning his head.
He had grown his hair out for several years, and it had grown to be an integral part of his personality.
His graduation was unjustly threatened by something having to do with his physical appearance, which was the first time he ever had issues with the school administration. A feeling of being targeted permeated his racing thoughts.
Students were prohibited from wearing “excessive” hairstyles, such as dreadlocks and mohawks, while at the school.
Multiple warnings had been issued to Leon to cut his hair.
Despite this, he vagrantly refused, claiming that his hairstyle was that of a cultural right. “My hair has nothing to do with my education,” he sharply and articulately retorted.
In order for Leon to graduate, the school administration required that he promptly cut his lengthy dreadlocks. It was about following the rules and setting a good example for other students, they further explained.
In a heated argument with his teachers, Leon raised his voice.
“Having some discipline is all that’s needed,” an overly-entitled teacher exclaimed. Leon believed they were just being unnecessarily pedantic. It was all part of his plan. He knew someone with a vastly different outlook, who would play an integral role in settling the dispute.
In order to succeed, he needed the ultimate form of backup. He knew someone who would get his voice heard. As quickly as possible, the desperate boy needed to make contact with her. Would he be able to reach her in time?
Throughout the day, he tried calling her obsessively but was met time and time again with her voicemail.
There was no way he was in any state to finish his classes that day. Nevertheless, he had to demonstrate that he was committed to adhering to the rules. One last time he desperately attempted calling, “Come on, pick up,” he begged and ultimately disappointedly moped back to the classroom.
Leon, flustered and outraged, recalled what had happened that night with his extremely protective parents. They angrily contacted the principal as soon as they could. His mother had a thorough understanding of the law as a highly respected civil attorney.
Her son’s cultural rights were being infringed upon by the school’s backwards policy, and it would not stand; she aggressively argued.
Despite having non-conventional hairstyles like mohawks and dyed hair, many other students were not singled out or given ultimatums like Leon.
Lawyer, Mother, Hero
Upon discovering Leon’s mother was a lawyer, the school principal was consumed by a sense of regret.
She refused to relent when he initially dismissed her allegations. As soon as the case went public, vast amounts of media coverage was garnered.
Suddenly, hundreds of people from all walks of life virtually congregated in support of Leon’s cause, the unfortunate boy who was fiendishly denied graduation as a result of his expression of heritage.
In the wake of the viral occurrence, Leon was invited to guest on a popular daytime talk show with a world-renowned host who was widely known for addressing discrimination matters.
The public had quickly spoken out in support of Leon and his right to wear his hair the way he wanted.
In response, the school was swarmed with a flood of calls, emails, and letters demanding an immediate reform of regulations. Would Principal Dickens heed their demands?
The principal’s inexplicable sense of pride made it extremely challenging to get a handle of the abundant but wildly negative publicity that surrounded the school.
Eventually, the staff at the school were completely incapable of coping with the ever-mounting stress and ridicule.
Despite their preliminary reluctance, they finally relented and permitted Leon to indeed graduate, with his dreadlocks pridefully on showcase for all. This victory was absolutely monumental, not only for Leon and his supportive family, but for all who had been battling against discrimination and cultural intolerance across the globe. At long last, truth and justice would prove victorious!
On the long-awaited day of his graduation, Leon strode pompously along the length of the stage to finally receive his hard-earned qualification.
His dreadlocks swayed and bounced with each prideful stride, and his face was alight with glee.
It was a moment of great accomplishment and validation in his life. In that instant, he became a symbol of inspiration and encouragement for black children across the world. His colleagues cheered him on, and together they rejoiced in victory.
Not So Dreaded Dreads
After graduation, Leon’s story continued to inspire others. He became a spokesperson for the importance of self-expression and the dangers of conformity.
He was already a part of a popular sorority at his future campus.
He spoke at rallies and events across the country, encouraging young people to be true to themselves and to fight for their rights. His campaign was called ‘The brains under the Hair.’
An Inner Problem
There was a rumor that Principal Dickens was suspended a few weeks after for another altercation with a student of color.
There was still a lot of work to be done in the schooling system.
Leon’s mother, too, continued to fight for justice. She took on more cases involving discrimination and civil rights violations and became a leading voice in the fight for equality. Leon was proud of his mother; she was his superhero.
Leon went on to attend college, where he continued to excel both on the basketball court and in the classroom.
He became a role model for other students, and his story continued to inspire others to stand up for their beliefs.
He also continued to grow his dreads. People would ask him if they were difficult to maintain, but he was proud of his natural locks and said, “They are a part of me; I take care of them regularly.” Would the conceited boy be able to manage his heavy mane through university?
Putting The Work In
Years later, when Leon looked back on his high school graduation, he remembered the struggle and the fight that led up to it.
But he also remembered the joy and the pride he felt as he walked across that stage, with his dreadlocks flying behind him.
And he knew that he had made a difference not just for himself, but for countless others who had been denied their rights. He looked at himself in the mirror; his dreads were past his shoulders now. They were growing strong.
My Image Is My Life
In the end, it wasn’t just about a hairstyle. It was about standing up for what you believe in and fighting for justice and equality.
And that was a lesson that Leon would carry with him for the rest of his life.
It was the lesson that inspired him to pursue a career in law. Now he was just about to finish his board exams. His mother had connected him with all the right people. The world was waiting for him to seek justice for the underdog.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.