Roslyn Anderson, WLBT-TV (Jackson, Mississippi), September 21, 2010
A week before Vicksburg High School’s homecoming festivities several escorts found out that they would not be participating.
Patrick Richardson said he was told by school officials that his hair is keeping him from escorting one of the homecoming maids.
The sixteen-year-old is sad that he won’t be in the next Vicksburg High School yearbook, pictured escorting his best friend Sa’shia Jones, who was chosen junior class maid.
Patrick said after paying to have a tux fitting last Thursday, the principal called him to the auditorium and told him that he could not be a homecoming escort because he wears dread-locked hair.
Patrick has been growing the dreadlocks since last October and said the hairstyle is not prohibited or addressed in any way in the school handbook.
Richardson’s mother, Tammi Mason, said she is upset because her son’s money was not refunded and that the school is not embracing his cultural expression.
“It’s actually a form of discrimination to me, because if that’s the case, then everybody who’s fat shouldn’t be able to be in it on the court,” Mason said. “They could say anything. Actually, they could say you have to be a Size 10 to be one of the maids.”
Another Vicksburg High School parent, Lynda Jackson, told WLBT that her son De-Marcus Jackson, a freshman, also wears dreadlocks and was humiliated to find out that his hair will prevent him from escorting the sophomore maid.