PHOENIX, Ariz. (KNXV) — So distraught over a dispute about a hairstyle, a Valley mother withdrew her son from a Phoenix school. Brittany Anderson told ABC15 she withdrew her 12-year-old son, Nasir, from Teleos Preparatory Academy on Wednesday. This comes after Brittany says the school called to say her son’s hairstyle violated the dress code as he had braids.
“If the hair is maintained, what’s the problem?” Anderson asked. “It’s not like it’s keeping him from learning.” Teleos is a public charter school located near 14th and Jefferson Streets. ABC15 looked at the school’s family handbook, which spells out expectations for boys on page 49. It reads: “No shaved heads, Mohawks, rat’s tails, ponytails, or braids.”
Anderson admitted she had not seen that portion when showed it by an ABC15 reporter, but insists there is a bigger issue, claiming her son had braids in his hair for several months without issue.
“If (the school) would have pointed that out to me earlier in the year, then I would have nipped it in the bud and not let him grow his hair out,” Anderson said. “But because you’re just telling me this is the new year, the school year is almost over and you want me to cut his hair? I’m not going to do it.”
Anderson says she wants to send a message about what she considers as strict guidelines for students’ hair.
“I’m challenging this handbook,” she said. “Everything else I’m perfectly fine. Attendance, call-ins, uniform policy…that’s all well and said, but you’re not going to dictate how my son can wear his hair.”
Great Hearts Academies, which Teleos is part of, released the following statement:
“As is the case with many public schools in Arizona, Great Hearts has a dress code policy for all of our academies. We are transparent about this policy and it is clearly stated in the Family Handbook, which is provided to parents to review and sign before their child starts school with us. We take great care in fairly and consistently upholding our policies for all students. We understand parents have a choice about where their children attend school, and some may not agree with our dress code policy, which is certainly their right. We’re sorry to see this family leave the Teleos Prep community, but we fully respect their decision to do so.”
Anderson told ABC15 she has since enrolled her son in another school.