TROY, Texas — Parents gathered outside Raymond Mays Middle School of the Troy Independent School District on Friday afternoon to show their support for teachers and staff.
The support from these parents comes after a Troy mother retained an attorney after she said the district put her 11-year-old in in-school suspension due to his haircut.
Todd Milton, one of the parents showing support for the school, said that there was name calling towards the school's administrators.
“We want everyone to know that Ms. Jolliff [Raymond Mays Middle School principal] and the middle school staff are not racist," Milton said. "They are not bullies, they take care of our kids. They are basically their moms when they’re not with us, or dads.”
Hope Cozart is the mother who said her son has spent nine days in in-school suspension because of his haircut.
Maddox Cozart has a Black father and a white mother. His mother, Hope Cozart, said that Maddox and his sisters wanted to learn more about their African heritage and wanted a braided hairstyle.
Milton said that the parents showing support are not saying that the rule may be outdated and could use a change, but that it has been gone about the wrong way. He said that parents all sign a form of the rules and regulations that are to be followed throughout the course of the school year.
The rule in question is the fourth one, which reads: "In grades 2-12, hair: d. May not be worn in a ponytail, top knot, bun, or similar styles."
This is a rule listed in the form that is signed by parents.
“None of us out here are saying the rule should not change," Milton said. "If it’s brought up and the parents and the school boards agree to it and that's what needs to change, then that’s fine and we’re okay with that. But there is a proper way to do it and the way that it was done is not right.”
Milton said that numerous students have had to change their clothes or haircuts because of dress code violations.
"That's what it boils down to," he said. "You signed a piece of paper that says you agreed to the rules and regulations."