Texas High School Accused of Discriminating Against Black Student Kienjanae Hooper for Having Braids, Refuses to Let Her Walk at Graduation [Exclusive]

A Texas High School has come under fire for discriminating against one of its students.

Kienjanae Hooper, a senior at Gladewater High School in Gladewater, Texas, was told this week that she’s not allowed to walk at her upcoming graduation ceremony because of her braided hairstyle.

The school’s dress code policy makes no mention of braids, but simply states:

“[hair] shall be clean, trimmed from eyes, and well groomed. Boys with hair longer than collar length shall wear a pony tail pinned up to within collar length. Facial hair shall be neatly trimmed. Hair coloring shall resemble a natural color.”

Kienjanae, along with her mother Kieana Hooper, are demanding that she be allowed to walk with her graduating class.

Waukeen McCoy, Hooper’s attorney, states:

“Systemic racism is not only in police departments as being played out in the news today, but in other institutions like Gladewater Independent School District in Gladewater Texas.  It is appalling that in this day and age schools are worried about black hairstyles, specifically braids and/or colored braids. The 2019-2020 school’s dress code policy even prohibits male students from wearing makeup or having polished nails.  We will hold them accountable for the anguish the family is going through during these difficult times.”

If you would like to speak up for Kienjanae and demand she be allowed to walk at her graduation ceremony, you can reach Principal Cathy Bedair at 903-845-5591.

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