A student’s parents are suing a Texas school district after an administrator used a permanent marker to color in a shaved area of the student's haircut.
KTRK-TV reports that the family of student Juelz Trice has filed the federal civil rights lawsuit against the Pearland school district, school discipline clerk Helen Day, Berry Miller Junior High School principal Tony Barcelona, and teacher Jeanette Peterson
The lawsuit asserts that in April 2019, Barcelona told Juelz, then in seventh grade, that his haircut did not adhere with the dress code. He was sent to Day's office, where she showed him a copy of the school dress code.
Barcelona then allegedly told Juelz, who is black, that he would have to serve an in-school suspension unless his fade haircut line design was immediately colored.
"He came over and said, 'You have two options: You can either go to (in-school suspension) or color it in,'" Juelz says. "Everyone was coming up to me. It was like the talk of the school that day and the day after."
Day took a black Sharpie and used it to color Juelz's scalp without his consent, the lawsuit says.
Barcelona, Day and Peterson laughed as the coloring occurred, the boy's family contends.
Since the incident and the subsequent publicity, the district changed its dress code hairstyle policy.
Juelz's parents say they were never notified and didn't know something was wrong until their son told them after school.
"When it first happened, I was very upset because I didn't find out until after he got off the bus and he got into the car and said, 'Look what they did to my head,'" says Juelz's mother, Angela Washington.
In addition to embarrassing Juelz, his father Dante Trice says the school could have put his son at medical risk by putting chemicals on open pores.