Young student gets to keep his long hair - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Young student gets to keep his long hair

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

An Albany elementary school student will get to keep his long dreadlocks, even though his hair violates school system policy.

Yosiyah Carter's parents say he wears his hair that way because of his religious beliefs. They are practicing Hebrew Israelites.

On the first day of school Monday, administrators at Lincoln Magnet School told the family Yosiyah would have to cut his hair. Tuesday, district officials told the family that would be a violation of his constitutional rights.

School system attorney Tommy Coleman said, "We looked at the case law in this case and found that in most cases that when it's a dress code or some other requirement like hair, if it violated a person's religious convictions, the court had found the schools systems in those cases are wrong and they should have been admitted."

Coleman says private schools can have different rules, but public schools cannot force a student to abide by a rule that conflicts with his religious beliefs.

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