FAQ

 There have been some questions and comments that I’ve seen on some of the places where our fight is being discussed online as well as have been asked to me in person.  I will try to address all of them here so that maybe the questions won’t get too repetitive. I don’t mind questions so if your curious about something and it is not answered here, feel free to ask. Questions and answers are how we learn.

Comment: You’re just doing this for attention. “Cut the civil rights crap”.

Answer: Well yes, I am. I am trying to bring attention to the fact that the NISD thinks it is ok to deny the right of religious freedom to their students. I think it is important that people know about it. If I wanted “attention” just for myself I’d pick something a bit easier and less stressful like naked chainsaw juggling.

Question: I saw the news interview and his dad’s hair is not all that long…

Answer: No, his hair is not as long as it might be if he had never had it cut. Adriel’s father had to cut his hair when he started school and keep it short. He went to school in Rosenberg (near Needville) so he is familiar with this type of thing. He has been growing it out for the last ten years.

Question: Why don’t you put him in a private school/homeschool him/move to a school district that will allow him to keep his hair without a fight?

Answer: Private schooling, home schooling or moving away does not solve the problem. It only tells our son that his rights are not worth fighting for and it tells the school district that its OK for them to keep infringing on the civil rights of their students. I suppose it would be easier but sometimes the right way is not the easy way.

Question: Aren’t you worried that teachers and other students will be hostile to your child?

Answer: Yes I am worried. Not everyone will agree with us and their opinions will be fed to their children who may in turn make things difficult for my son.  Unfortunatly that is life.  Parents teach their children their own values and if bigotry is one of them, it gets gets passed down too. Luckily, some children grow up and realize that intolerance is wrong and adjust their own values accordingly.

Plenty of children have had to deal with unpleasant school experiences. When school segregation was ended it was not easy for those children either.

Question: Is his hair religious or cultural?

Answer: It is both. Native Americans have many spiritual beliefs. So many that their spirituality and their customs are many times one and the same. There are beliefs associated with hair, the most commonly known is that your hair is a measure of how long you have been here and what you have experienced. It is a record of your life.

Internet searches and books on Native American religious practices will not give you much in the way of a thorough education on the subject. So much of Native American culture has been bastardized that very few people are willing to share all of their beliefs and traditions. They have been reduced to team mascots and the bad guys in old westerns so it is understandable that they do not wish to share their religious customs with everyone.

Question: Are’nt you worried about what your neighbors/other area citizens will think?

Answer: No. I’m not interested in popularity. Its fine if not everyone agrees with us and I understand that many people will not.

Question: What tribe and are you a registered member?

Answer: Lipan Apache and no, not at this time.

Proof of tribal affiliation or even DNA percentage of Indian blood is not the issue in this case even though we offered DNA proof to the superintendent. The law does not require that we prove any of this, only that our belief is “sincere”.

I am just your average run of the mill white woman of german and scotch-irish descent yet I sincerely believe that my son’s hair is very important to my family’s belief system. Other than trimming split ends, I have not cut my own hair in many years.

 I think that about covers everything but I will add to this if there are more questions or comments that need to be addressed.

The appeal forms have been sent in and the date for our appeal meeting is July 16th at the regular monthly school board meeting.

 

 

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