A Redding 7th grader is told he needs to change his mohawk hairstyle or could face disciplinary actions.
Elijah Astin and his parents Jolena and Mike Astin attended the U-Prep School Board meeting Tuesday night to present their argument to change the dress code on hairstyles. However, the members voted to keep their ban on Mohawks.
The 12-year-old maintains a 3.6 GPA, plays on a Division 3 competitive soccer team and is a fifth chair violinist in his school’s orchestra.
The school board stated that the family was aware of the policy when they decided to send Elijah to U-Prep. This is Elijah’s second year at the school; he has worn a Mohawk for most of his life and says he was informed this year that it was against the school’s dress code.
“It’s kind of ridiculous that I can’t have a certain hairstyle,” said Elijah.
The school board says the mohawk is not an appropriate hairstyle and it is distracting and potentially dangerous.
“It’s not affecting the learning process, it’s not a distraction, so coming up with its going to poke someone’s eye out is a ridiculous excuse,” said Elijah’s father Mike.
The 7th grader’s parents support his individual style, and believe it is important for their son to stand up to the school board.
“If you are different from anyone else then that’s OK, but apparently at this school you have to be like everybody else,” said Elijah, “it makes me stand out from all the other students with the same haircut.”
“The mohawk doesn’t make him, he makes the mohawk look better in the way he holds himself and who he is,” said Mike.
Elijah’s family plans to continue this fight.
“I always felt we need to fight for our kid, we are the voice for our kid,” said Elijah’s mother Jolena.
Elijah has been told by the school board that he has until Thanksgiving break to change his hairstyle. If he doesn’t get rid of the mohawk he could face disciplinary consequences.