Community rallies amid Apopka private school's hair policy

- It's the viral video that's now been seen millions of times – 6-year-old Clinton Stanely Jr. turned away from his private school in Apopka because of his dreadlocks.

Little Clinton’s parents have now enrolled him in public school -- his father was part of a community discussion Thursday night at the Hope Community Center in Apopka.

"We're fighting for policy change and I'm not stopping until polices get changed, polices get took out of place that allow people to be discriminated against," Stanely said.

Clinton Stanely Sr. says he wasn't aware of the policy before enrolling his son - and says they choose the school because it accepted his son's scholarship.

“It's really a systemic thing, because if that's the only school in the area that accepts the scholarship and that's the nearest school in his area, he has to forfeit the scholarship or cut the child's hair,” said an organizer. 

A Book's Christian Academy handbook clearly states "no dreads."

“One accusation you can't make against this school is that we're racist,” said John Book, the school’s director.

Book who says the school is 95% African American, is standing by their hair policy.

“I wouldn't change that rule like I said if it were by son that had to conform to it too,” Book said.

Parents at the school say there have been times when their children also had to change their hair to meet the dress code, and it wasn't an issue.

“Mrs. Book told me she was like 'she can't have the red hair,' and I was like '
Okay well she had it for her birthday give me a couple days it's going to take a little while to braid this hair up and then I'll take it down in a couple days' I took it down and it was fine you know we get the guidelines before hand,” said Mrs. Rubin, a parent.
Organizers have started a petition asking all schools in Orange County to abolish all policies with bias to natural African American hair.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories