Massachusetts Charter School Calls Student's Odell Beckham Jr.-Inspired Hairstyle "Distracting"
Once again a Massachusetts school finds itself in hot water for their
treatment of a black student because of their hair. Back in May, a Malden, MA charter school came under fire for banning braids.
The school even banned two students from prom and sports activities for
their refusal to remove their braids. Now a Cambridge, MA charter
school is being called out for their treatment of a student who is
sporting a hairstyle inspired by New York Giants Wide Receiver, Odell
Matthew Diaz is a sixth grader at Benjamin Banneker Charter School, and after arriving at school with his new haircut, the 11-year-old was verbally reprimanded by the school's administration. When his hair was deemed as "distracting," Diaz's mother, Jennifer Diaz questioned in what ways, that's when someone from the school told her "Well, the other kids can't focus."
News station Boston 25 was contacted by an unnamed administrator who reportedly claimed the issue around Diaz's hair was that it looked "unkempt," and the school stresses hygiene as a priority.
Diaz's mother says the conversation with the school made him want to cut his hair, to which she refused. " I said 'no, you're not,'" she said to Boston 25. Beckham is Diaz's favorite football player, and the student said it's his "style."
"People have different styles, like how they want to express themselves," he said.
The school claims they didn't ask for him to cut his hair, but to simply comb it.
As the natural hair movement becomes more popular in the culture, black students nationwide have a pushback from their school in support of students wearing their natural hair. In May a Florida teen was pulled into the school office because her afro was deemed "out of control," and a Louisiana teen was refused lunch because of his Odell-inspired haircut.
No word on if Diaz if facing any further punishment, but kudos to his mother for allowing him to express himself and not cut his hair.