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Keeping Hair: A Matter for Another Religious Path

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by spnadmin, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    1947-2014 (Archived)
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    Needville kindergartner wins battle to keep hair long

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    Adriel Arocha's parents consider his waist-length hair "sacred" and contend it reflects American Indian religious beliefs.

    Five-year-old Adriel Arocha doesn’t have to stuff his hair into his shirt collar. And he doesn’t have to meet privately with a teacher, away from his classmates, for flouting the school’s policy on hair length.

    On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that the Needville Independent School District’s policy violated state law and the U.S. Constitution by punishing the American Indian kindergartner for religious beliefs that require him to wear his hair long.

    “By the policy’s terms, A.A. must wear his hair in his shirt during recess, on field trips, and on the school bus. When he becomes older, he will have to wear his hair down the back of his shirt at football games, school dances, and, presumably, his high school graduation,” wrote U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison. “The policy will deny A.A. the opportunity to express a religious practice that is very dear to him and his father.”
    Adriel’s father, Kenney Arocha, who is part Apache Indian, says that he considers his hair sacred — not to be cut except during major life events, such as the death of a loved one.
    Sought exemption

    It’s been 11 years since Arocha has cut his hair. His son’s hair has never been cut, and is now about 13 inches long.

    Needville’s policy does not permit long hair for boys, so Adriel’s parents applied for a religious exemption before the school year started. Administrators told him he would have to wear his hair in one long braid, tucked into the back of his shirt at all times.
    When he came to school with two braids hanging outside his shirt, they made him attend classes in isolation from the other students.

    The ACLU picked up the case, and in October, a judge granted a temporary injunction that allowed Adriel to go back to his regular classes.

    Ellison’s Tuesday order makes that injunction permanent.

    Needville’s superintendent, Curtis Rhodes, was not available for comment Wednesday evening.

    ACLU spokeswoman Dotty Griffith said the family harbored no grudge against the school district, and that Adriel was thriving there.

    “Children are very resilient and very forward-looking, and that’s the way this boy has been,” Griffith said. “Now that it’s resolved, life goes on.”
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  3. Archived_member7

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    Mar 27, 2006
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    I had read somewhere that the aboriginal american mayan culture and Indian culture have links ..and this is one of them ..other thngs i came across was Sun worship...
  4. pk70

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    Feb 25, 2008
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    Nice one aad0002 Jio, I have a few native American friends, hair are very dear to them, once they learned about my long hair, they have tried to relate themselves to me due to that. Interestingly on certain occasions, they offer hair in respect to others, a custom completely unsuitable to Sikhs who dear hair utmost like them

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