- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Texas mother is upset after her 5-year-old son, a Navajo Nation citizen, was sent home on his first day of kindergarten because of his long hair.

The Seminole Independent School District said it was following procedure when Malachi Wilson was sent home on his first day at F.J. Young Elementary, a local CBS affiliate reported. His mother, April, said it’s against their religion to cut his hair.

“Our hair is sacred to us, it makes us part of who we are,” she told the station.

Miss Wilson contacted the Navajo Nation, which provided the school with the proper documentation to enroll Malachi by the end of the first day, the station reported.

“I also spoke with the American Indian movement, they had also contacted the superintendent, when they contacted the superintendent, they had told them that they were going to accept Malachi into school,” she said.

School district officials pointed CBS to a page in their handbook that states, “certain recognized religious or spiritual beliefs may qualify for an exception from provisions of the dress code.” The handbook goes on to say that with proper documentation all students are allowed.

Still, Miss Wilson is upset her son will never get back his first day of kindergarten.

“Malachi was excited to start school all summer long. After we had enrolled him he was excited. Every day it was the question, ‘Mom, are we going to school?’” she told the station. “It’s kind of heartbreaking because how do you explain to a 5-year-old that he is being turned away because of what he believes in, because of his religion, because of what’s part of him, how do you explain that to him?”

She said she is thinking about taking Malachi out of public school and consulting a lawyer about the possibility of a discrimination case, CBS reported.

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