6-year-old told he can't wear earrings at Alief school, mom says

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A mother is furious because she claims Alief ISD told her it is against school policy for her 6-year-old son to wear earrings in school.

Natasha Valdiviesco recently moved to Houston from Miami. She said Heflin Elementary School leaders told her that her son Pedro Hargrove had to either take the earrings off or place Band-Aids on them.

"Okay, so I have to be in a religion in order for you guys to accept my child with earrings into school?" wondered Valdiviesco. "Why are they making him feel so different? Like wearing earrings is bad, like it's a crime."

"One of my friends said, 'Why do you have Band-Aids?'" Pedro told ABC13. "I said, 'Because the office teacher said you can't wear earrings.'"

Valdiviesco said it made her son feel unsure about himself. She said she allowed her son to pierce his ears two months ago because he wanted to be like his big brother.

Valdiviesco is now on a quest to make sure the district changes its policy.

On Wednesday, after calling surrounding districts, the mom discovered other schools are okay with boys wearing earrings.

"I found out girls can wear earrings to school," she said. "I was under the impression that no child can wear earrings to school. So, I said, 'If girls can wear them, why can't boys wear earrings?' So, now you guys are doing a gender discrimination as well."

She's asking for school leaders to look into this further and that she's standing up for other parents who may face this situation in the future.

Alief ISD released the following statement:
"AISD Board Policy regarding dress code states that "earrings are not permitted to be worn by male students in elementary, intermediate, or middle school. High school students who wear earrings must avoid those which present a safety hazard or detraction. Gauges/ear stretchers, symbols (reflecting gang affiliation, drugs, alcohol, satanic ideologies, etc.) and chains are not permitted." In realizing that this policy was last updated in 2007, we will review the rule during our annual Student Code of Conduct Committee Review as we begin preparing for the 2020/2021 School Year. However, we do adhere to religious exemptions. If this is the case, the parent will submit in writing their request and reasoning and the campus will keep the request on file for future reference."

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