Parents Of 13-Year-Old Suing School After Staff Coloured Head With Marker
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The parents of a 13-year-old student are suing the administrators at a Texas school for colouring in their son's head with a permanent marker because he had a letter shaved into his hair.
Reports in the Houston Chronicle claim that Juelz Trice, known as 'JT', showed up to school at Berry Miller Junior High with the letter 'M' shaved into the side of his head.
According to the school, that violates its policy on symbols, designs and letters shaved into haircuts among the children attending the school.
The administrators at the school in Houston told Juelz he had three options - call his mother, receive a disciplinary action, or - bizarrely - colour the side of his head with a marker.
The federal civil rights lawsuit, in which the middle school's principal Tony Barcelona is named as one of several defendants, claims that the administrators laughed as they drew on the side of the boy's head.
The lawsuit claims that Juelz's treatment was racist and that he was 'immensely humiliated and shamed' by his experience.
According to CBS News, the complaint reads: "JT felt extremely degraded and suffered at least great embarrassment, shame, anxiety and depression."
Juelz's parents, Angela Washington and Dante Trice, are suing for compensation, but also want the school district staff to receive training.
Their attorney, Randall Kallinen, said that the defendants named in the lawsuit are Pearland Independent School District, Berry Miller Junior High School principal Tony Barcelona, disciplinary clerk Helen Day and teacher Jeanette Peterson.
Whilst the district has yet to respond legally to the lawsuit, it has admitted that an administrator 'mishandled' the incident.
Juelz told ABC13 Eyewitness News: "He came over and said, 'You have two options: You can either go to (in-school suspension) or colour it in.'
"Everyone was coming up to me. It was like the talk of the school that day and the day after."
His mother Angela added: "When it first happened, I was very upset because I didn't find out until after he got off the bus and he got into the car and said, 'Look what they did to my head.'"
His father also said: "It was wide open because he had just got his hair cut the day before, so it was wide open.
"I'm totally disappointed."
The school dress code states that hair must be neat, clean, and well-groomed. The code continues to say: "Extreme hair styles such as carvings, mohawks, spikes, etc. are not allowed."
It has since been changed, and there are no outlines for situations in which a student is in violation of the code.