A Texas teenager named Deandre Arnold was suspended from high school and said he couldn't go to his graduation party unless he cut his dreadlocks and caught the attention of a Houston Texan star who shares his first name – DeAndre Hopkins who urged him not to cut his hair.
Arnold, 17, a senior, ironically at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, was recently sent to school because he had refused to cut his hair, Click 2 Houston reported.
"They even say that [when] My hair is high, if it went down it would not conform to the dress code, ”Deandre told the station. "However, I don't take it down in school."
His mother, Sandy Arnold, told the outlet that her son has had dreadlocks for years and has always followed the dress code – "from the shoulders to the earlobes and from the eyes."
But then, she said, the school changed its policies after the Christmas break and three months before graduation.
Deandre said his family comes from Trinidad, where dreadlocks are common.
"I really like this part of Trinidad culture," he said. "I really assume that."
Hopkins – who also has dreadlocks – got some extra support this week.
"Never Cut Your Deandre Arnold Locks" The NFL star tweeted to its almost 459,000 followers.
The tweet brought 982 retweets and around 4,200 likes by Thursday morning.
In a statement to the station, the Barbers Hill school district said that "there is a community-sponsored hair length policy that has been around for decades."
"Barbers Hill is a head of state with high expectations in all areas!" Says the statement.
According to KHOU, the district is not about Arnold's dreadlocks or race, but that district superintendent Greg Poole insisted on a school board meeting earlier this week.
"There is no clothing policy that prohibits the wearing of cornrows or other hair," Poole said. “Our policy limits the length. It's been like this for 30 years. "