A federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed against a local school district and a few of their employees after they used a sharpie to color in a student’s “fade” haircut.
According to the lawsuit, seventh grader Juelz Trice came to school April 17 with a new fade-style haircut with a design down the side. An assistant principal at the time, Tony Barcelona, told Juelz he was out of dress code and sent him to the office.
The lawsuit claims Juelz had not been out of dress code before and had never really been in trouble at school before.
While Juelz was in the discipline clerk’s office, Barcelona told him that he would be put in school suspension or the line design in his haircut would be immediately colored.
The lawsuit said neither the principal or the discipline clerk contacted Juelz’s parents about the issue.
By the end of it, the discipline clerk and a teacher had used a black sharpie to color in the line design. They sent him back to class. The lawsuit said Juelz felt degraded, embarrassed and shame because of this.
The lawsuit alleges based on U.S. Department of Education Statistics on the district’s enrollment and ethnicity of students receiving disciplinary actions, Pearland ISD has heavy bias saying African-American students were suspended more than white students.
The family’s lawyer, Randall Kallinen, made a statement about the incident
"Despite this extremely shameful behavior and history of racial discrimination the Pearland ISD has doubled down...and refused to meet with Juelz's parents to discuss their behavior or any training of Pearland ISD employees," Kallinen said in part.
He also said the district has refused to fire the employees involved.
On Monday, the child's parents and Kallinen are expected to hold a press conference at the Pearland ISD administration building to talk more about why they have filed this lawsuit. We have reached out to the district and will keep you updated if they have a comment about this.