A young boy’s parents are suing the school district after he came home with permanent marker all over his scalp.
Ju’elz Trice is a seventh grad student in Pearland, Texas. In April, the 13-year-old got a haircut with a M-shaped “fade.” The next day, the assistant principal brought him to the office, claiming that his haircut violated the school dress code.
Assistant principal Tony Barcelona told Ju’elz that he had two options: school officials could give him an in-school suspension, or they could color his scalp with a black Sharpie. Ju’elz chose the latter option, fearful of having a suspension on his record.
Three school officials proceeded to color Ju’elz’s head. He says they laughed as they did it.
The parents of middle schooler Juelz Trice filed a lawsuit against Houston school officials for coloring the 13-year-old's hair design with permanent marker.
— Complex (@Complex) August 22, 2019
His parents didn’t find out about the incident until he got home. The school never bothered to call.
Ju’elz’s mom, Angela Washington, told Today that the incident was “very disturbing” and that she was “extremely upset” at the time.
Ju’elz’s father, Dante Trice, adds that his son’s haircut wasn’t offensive in the slightest.
“That design in Ju’elz head wasn’t a gang sign. It wasn’t nothing provocative. It’s just a heritage, the culture.”
Moreover, Dante pointed out that the Sharpie just made the design even more noticeable than it was before. Ju’elz’s skin is not actually black like a Sharpie, after all, and it’s blatantly racist to imply that it is.
Parents sue Texas school district after school officials reportedly colored in black child’s haircut with permanent black marker https://t.co/rWZ5VTRAq3
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) August 21, 2019
The school district has not commented on the lawsuit.
In fact, Tony Barcelona has been promoted to head principal after going on administrative leave, which Dante says feels like a “smack in the face.”
“My son is 13 years old now and he has to go every single day, embarrassed and uncomfortable, while this principal gets a promotion and gets more pay. (The principal’s) life goes on, his life actually gets better. And my son’s life gets worse.”