After his principal questioned him about if having braided hair made him a gangster, the parents of a seventh-grade student stated they had made the decision to relocate their kid from his present school. The parents of the Louisiana-based Calvary Baptist school pupil said they were astounded to learn about the principal’s comments in an interview with NOLA.com.
“I picked him up, just like normal and asked how was your day? How did your friends like your braids?” Ashely Thorn, the mother of the Black student, said. “We’re driving out of the parking lot and he said the principal pulled him aside today and asked if his braids represented being a gangster.”
Little Dalon’s parents also said the principal’s comments were troubling because braided hair isn’t a violation of the school’s policy. “You don’t think you have to prep your child or even think of something like that for something that’s so small,” said Thorn.
Dalon’s parents said that their early attempts to contact Principal Angelyn Mesman after learning of the incident were unsuccessful. However, they claimed that they spoke with the principal and met Mesman the day following the incident.
Mesman claimed in the video that she had a private talk with Dalon to spare him any shame and that she also wanted to learn the significance of his braids.
“I’ve never had a student wear their braids like that. I’ve had teachers personally come to me and ask about his hair and what I thought about it,” Mesman is heard saying in the recording.
She adds: “I have seen children grow up in this school and I’ve seen them change, so I was just checking to see where we are. I just wanted to see his heart. Our culture is changing. Little boys used to have regular little haircuts.”
During the conversation, Mesman is also heard making multiple references to how youth culture is changing and how Dalon can fall prey to it. “I’m seeing a lot of young people listening to a lot of rappers pushing for drugs and doing things opposite of Christ,” she says.
Despite the explanation, Dalon’s parents said they could not fathom how their son’s hairstyle caused him to be pulled away to be asked about the reason behind wearing braids, NOLA.com reported.
Dalon’s parents said Mesman’s lack of cultural understanding was one of the factors behind their decision to withdraw their son from the school.