Things That Matter

A Texas Family Is Suing Their Son’s School After They Forced Him To Color In His Fade With A Sharpie

One of the worst things about public school is the arbitrary way that dress codes are enforced. However, this isn’t just a conversation about skirt length or bra straps infractions. Uniform coding has a history of enforcing rules that violate individual civil rights especially for female students, Black students, and students of color.

Now, a case out of Texas is arguing that this sort of civil liberties violation is what happened to a student in April 2019 at a Houston-area school.

The family of middle school student, Juelz Trice, is suing the Pearland ISD School District for an incident last Spring where administration used permanent marker on the 14-year-old’s scalp.

Twitter / @ajplus

On April 16th, Trice received a new fade but it was cited as a dress code violation the very next day. The middle school student   who is Black was in the cafeteria for breakfast when he was told by the assistant principal, Tony Barcelona, to go to the office because of his haircut. According to the lawsuit, he and Barcelona were met by discipline clerk, Helen Day, and, later, teacher, Jeanette Peterson. There in the office, Trice was given two options: go to in-school suspension for his violation or use a black Sharpie to color his scalp in. Reportedly, Trice worried that in-school suspension would impact his eligibility for the track team so he chose the marker option.

According to the lawsuit, Day then took the black permanent marker and used it to fill in the design of Trice’s fade. Peterson was then asked to pick up another marker and help fill in the middle school student’s scalp. The lawsuit alleges that “They laughed as they took many minutes to color 13-year-old J.T’s scalp which took many days of scrubbing to come off.” Images taken of the boy’s scalp after the fact reveal that the marker made the design far more noticeable.

According to the family’s attorney, there was no attempt to notify Trice’s parents before his scalp was colored in.

Twitter / @mochamomma

The civil rights lawsuit cites the school district as well Barcelona, Peterson and Day as defendants in the claim. According to Randall Kallinen, attorney for the student’s parents, Dante Trice and Angela Washington, the school district has yet to meet with the family. The only thing that has been done to rectify this problem was to change the existing dress code. In May of 2019, after the incident with Trice, the updated code removed restrictions on hairstyles and carvings.

It should be noted that the administrators and teacher involved in the incident did not receive corrective action. In fact, Barcelona, who was a vice-principal at the time, has now been promoted to principal. All three still work at Berry Miller Junior High where the situation occurred.

“I was mad. I was really mad,” Dante Trice said of his son’s ordeal. “I just imagine three people holding him down with a marker against his will.”

In a new conference about the incident, attorney Kallien cited a 2015 Department of Justice study that found that Black students were 143% more likely to be suspended than white students.

Twitter / @MarcelinoKHOU

“We are here today to right this wrong through the court system because apparently, PISD doesn’t care about African American people,” Kallinen claimed in the televised statements.

While Houston has received the title of the most diverse city in America, Pearland where the middle school is located is much less diverse. Of its population, nearly 63% is white and only 17% is Black.

While the lawsuit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, that isn’t all it is attempting to fix. Filed in the Southern District of Texas, the suit also requests that the court order school district employees receive racial sensitivity training. Considering this incident, it seems the school could definitely benefit from this.

Local activists have come out in support of Trice and his family, but they have received a lot of encouragement from Twitter as well.

Twitter / @DovieWatson

As this Twitter user expressed, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen alleged racism in school dress codes or from school administrators. In the past, school districts have faced lawsuits over dress codes that declare braids, long hair, and other so-called “ethnic” hairstyles “against the rules.” In these instances, it is usually found that the school district has violated the civil liberties of students.

Some pointed out that instances like these are more like policing than educating.

Twitter / @taylorwestc

A lot is asked of teachers and school administrators. We definitely won’t argue that. However, the number one thing required of them is to teach our young people. When we see stories like these, we have to wonder how much time is being spent educating and how much is being spent policing these kids. When it comes to their hairstyle, it’s best to let the parents and kids take this one.

Beto O’Rourke Campaign Launches Spanish-Langauge Twitter Account To Reach The Larger Latino Community

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Beto O’Rourke Campaign Launches Spanish-Langauge Twitter Account To Reach The Larger Latino Community

betoorourke / Instagram

The 2020 presidential campaigns are in full swing and the candidates are all trying to reach as many voters as possible. In that attempt, the Beto O’Rourke campaign has launched a Spanish-language Twitter account. The account, called Beto en español, is brand new and will be live-tweeting O’Rourke’s participation in the Democratic presidential debates tomorrow. Here’s why the O’Rourke campaign decided to address the Spanish speaking community via social media.

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is using his platform to reach out to Spanish-speaking voters.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

“Beto is committed to going everywhere and talking to everyone, even when their native language is not English,” Claudia Tristán, the director of Latinx messaging for the O’Rourke campaign tells mitú. “He learned Spanish in his native El Paso, a community on the U.S.-Mexico border where many residents are bilingual. As an elected official representing the border, he has always used Spanish to communicate with his constituents, regularly holding town halls, taking questions in both English and Spanish.”

Tristán explains that O’Rourke wants to use the same strategy of his political career to give attention and information to the Spanish-speaking community.

The attacks on the Latino community, both through rhetoric from the Trump administration and the shooting in El Paso, solidified the importance of the campaign to address Spanish-speaking constituents.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

“As a native of El Paso, part of the largest bi-national community in the Western Hemisphere, reaching out to and standing up for the Latinx community has been a top priority for Beto throughout his campaign,” Tristán says. “On the trail, he has prioritized meeting with Latinx voters, engaging with Latinx media and is boldly speaking out against the discriminatory attacks President Trump has waged against the Latinx community.  This Twitter account is an extension of Beto’s in-person Spanish-language outreach to voters.”

There are more than 40 million Spanish-speakers living in the U.S. Many of the younger generations are bilingual with parents who rely predominately on Spanish to communicate.

Tristán admits that O’Rourke using Spanish in his speeches is important to her and her family.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

“I know for my mom and abuelita it really resonated for them when they heard Beto express solidarity with the community, in their preferred language, that means something,” Tristán recalls after the El Paso shooting. “That is incredibly profound.”

@BetoParaTodos is going to be part of a larger push to utilize O’Rourke’s Spanish to communicate with voters.

“Beto understands that it is an important part in communicating with this vastly diverse community,” Tristán explains. She adds: “Establishing this online communication channel allows Beto and the campaign to regularly and consistently have interactions with voters in Spanish.”

Tristán highlights the candidate’s upbringing in the bilingual and multiracial community of El Paso as shaping his policies and campaign tactics.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

O’Rourke grew up in El Paso surrounded by immigrants and eventually went on to represent the community in Congress. His outlook on the world and the future of the country have been influenced and shaped by his experience living in and representing a large and vibrant immigrant community.

“In the wake of one of the deadliest attacks on the Latinx community where hate was brought into his hometown, Beto has redoubled his efforts to call out the hateful, racist rhetoric of Donald Trump, has reinforced his commitment to visiting with people targeted by Trump’s harmful policies, will continue to uplift them and tell their stories,” Tristán says.

As a candidate for the office of President of the United States, O’Rourke wants to uplift the stories of those he has fought for.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

“Beto is committed to engaging with the Latinx community in a meaningful way: to listen and show up for them, and demonstrate solidarity at a time where they feel hunted and afraid,” Tristán says. “Beto is not only boldly speaking out against Donald Trump and his racist policies targeting the Latinx community, but is also reaching out to Latinx voters to better address their needs and concerns on a range of issues and in a meaningful way that moves this country forward.”

READ: After The Shooting In El Paso, Beto O’Rourke Calls On Media To Call Out Trump’s Dangerous Rhetoric

This Sacramento Bar Is Being Accused Of A Racist Dress Code Many Are Calling A ‘Whites Only’ Sign

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This Sacramento Bar Is Being Accused Of A Racist Dress Code Many Are Calling A ‘Whites Only’ Sign

The way we dress says a lot about who we are. Style and fashion often get called superficial but think about it… Every morning (or afternoon if you’re a late riser like me) we each make a conscious decision on what we’re going to wear. So, of course, our style choices are a reflection of ourselves as people.

And, of course, there are restaurants and bars and clubs that have dress codes.

But one Sacramento restaurant/bar is being accused of targeting a specific style that is well known to be popular among certain communities. The new dress code is being called racist and the modern day version of a ‘Whites Only’ sign.

A popular Sacramento bar has faced a serious backlash after many accused it of creating a racist dress code.

Many people are criticizing a new dress code enforced by a Sacramento, Calif., bar that is accused of targeting African-Americans and whose critics consider it a “Modern Day ‘WHITES ONLY SIGN.’ “

The popular Barwest recently posted a new dress code that lists certain clothing such as sports wear “gang colors,” chains, grills, baggy clothes and track pants that should not be permitted after 10 p.m. in the midtown area bar.

While people say they are used to Sacramento bars banning certain types of shoes, they believe Barwest, which is known for its “burgers, wings and nightlife.” is addressing a certain group of people.

In an interview with CBS Sacramento, Charlene Bruce said “I’m just trying to figure out, who they’re trying not to have come to their establishment. Just say that.”

Bruce said she was shocked when she saw the sign when she was eating at a place next door to Barwest.

And if we needed any evidence that this was specifically targeting people of color, Black Lives Matter says people who aren’t black have bypassed the dress code.

Sacramento Black Lives Matter leader, Sonia Lewis also shared her thoughts about the bar’s new rules, revealing that she was disappointed. 

She told the outlet that the Black Lives Matter chapter used to hold meetings at the bar every week. She said she also spoke to Barwest management about serving people of color in the vicinity as well.

“How could they be taking steps backward was my first reaction,” Lewis told the station. “Like I said, I’m not surprised. It’s very much indicative of the midtown experience.”

While many on Twitter wanted to remind us all that California has long faced the issue of racism.

For many in the Black community, this so-called dress code was just another form of discrimination towards a community who has faced discrimination for decades. California, despite its reputation as a liberal haven, has long dealt with blatant racism. From a failed criminal justice system that unfairly targets people of color to police brutality and unfair housing and employment practices, people of color face an uphill battle in California.

Some suggested that the bar would accept a certain type of apparel over others…

Yes, Sacramento is the capital of left-leaning California but much of the state, including parts of Sacramento, have often embraced racist ideals. In fact, California’s ‘Trump Country’ extends into parts of the city.

Many on social media suggested that not only was the dress code sign likely racist but it was also likely to encourage MAGA-wearing patrons to choose the bar over other options in the area.

Reactions on Twitter ranged from complete and total outrage…

This Twitter user makes a great point. Yes, it’s quite obvious to many that this instance of a strict dress code is being used to target a specific racial group, dress codes are also often used to segregate the classes.

To complete and total ignorance.

This isn’t about dressing like an adult. This is about targeting specific forms of dress that are popular among certain communities. Communities of people who have historically been targeted based upon their appearance, skin color, and form of dress. I mean, ‘no grills?” Seriously? That’s way to specific to just say that they want people to ”dress like an adult.”