An African-American mother in Mississippi alleged that her son’s principal cut his dreadlocks–robbing the boy of his “cultural identity.” Scores of Black parents are choosing to homeschool their children for that very reason.
There have been more than 36,000 Facebook shares since Lattrice Averette published her post on Tuesday, accusing her 11-year-old son’s principal of disrespecting the boy’s “cultural identity” by trimming the fourth-grader’s hair. The student told his mother that he was called for no apparent reason to the principal’s office on Monday, and the principal snipped off some of his locs that were hanging in front of his face. The furious mom filed a complaint with school officials.
“I was highly upset. I needed something to be done, and I wanted some justice for my son,” Averette said. “He is autistic, suffers from ADHD and post-traumatic stress because of this school.”
Averette didn’t get the response she was hoping to revceive. On Wednesday, the Jones County Schools Superintendent concluded that there is no evidence to support Averette’s accusations, WDAM-TV reported.
Averette withdrew her son from the school. In a growing trend, many Black parents are now homeschooling their children after encountering racism in public schools and the loss of Black cultural identity. People are homeschooling because “African-American identity is really critical,” University of Georgia professor Cheryl Fields-Smith told The 74. Homeschooling enables parents to instill “what it means to be African American.”
An estimated 220,000 African-American children were homeschooled in 2015, The Atlantic reported. Black families are one of the fastest growing demographics in homeschooling—an alternative to public schools that was once considered the domain of White evangelical parents.
While White conservative Christians often homeschool over religious or moral disagreement with public schools, Black families are choosing this option because of racial bias in pubic schools and disproportionate punishment, especially of Black boys, the Christian Science Monitor stated.