A Texas high school student growing out his hair to make a wig for his sick younger sister has claimed that he was threatened with suspension over the length of his hair.
The father of 16-year-old Newt Johnson, Alan, has said that his 11-year-old daughter, Maggie, was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that affects her kidneys back in October. And because of her treatment, which reportedly includes chemotherapy, some of her long, curly hair has fallen out, which prompted her brother to grow out his hair to make a wig for her.Watch a news report on the story below:
"He said, 'No, he can come back when he gets his hair cut,'" he alleged. "They made him leave, they knew he wasn't going to get his haircut."
The school district has, however, hit back at the family, writing in a statement on Friday that its "integrity and board approved policies are being maligned and twisted on social media."
"There was an avenue and process to seek resolution to the issue that the parent chose not to take, thereby negating the opportunity for a different resolution," the statement, which was issued by superintendent, Paula Renken, read.
The superintendent also details that local media reports have failed to mention the amount of money that has been raised for the Johnson family.
"Principal Deaver performed his duties as he is expected to under the policies and procedures in place," Renken continued.
This comes after another Texas teenager, De'Andre Arnold, garnered national attention after he was suspended and told he could not walk at graduation if he did not cut his dreadlocks to be in line with the school district's dress code. Arnold, who is black, and has reportedly worn dreadlocks since he was in the seventh grade, has now withdrawn from Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu.
Alan commented on the similarities between Arnold's situation and his son's, saying "How are you going to tell a young man he can't have long hair?"
"I think school districts have a lot of other issues that are way more pressing than how a young man wears his hair."