Texas resident Hope Cozart has called out the Troy Independent School District after they suspended her son, Maddox. Not long ago, Maddox and his sister approached their Mom in hopes of learning more about their Black heritage. In return, Maddox and Hope Cozart agreed that he'd braid his hair.
“We try to teach our kids about all of their culture. Black, white, Native-American, everything," Cozart told KCEN-TV.
They like to explore their culture. We looked at African Tribes and how they braid their hair up. Bantu knots and all the meanings of all that."
Hoping to show off his hair at school, Maddox was served an in-school suspension for allegedly violating school policy against boys wearing ponytails, knots or buns. As a result, Cozart claims her son was situated in an isolated cubicle for more than a week.
"Middle school is the hardest years for a lot of kids. For you to single them out because of their hair. That, that's crazy. Kids should be able to express themselves and hair does not affect your education," Cozart added.
Superintendent Neil Jeter has decided not to comment on Cozart's concerns specifically. Instead, Jeter issued a blanket statement.
“It would not be appropriate for me to discuss disciplinary action involving specific students," Jeter said.
In support of Cozart and her son, more than 1,000 members of the community have signed a petition in support of the family. There has also been a lawsuit filed against the Troy Independent School District. Things will likely go a step further as a school board meeting is set for April 19 at 6 p.m.
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