Court to review suit over boy's hairstyle

December 4, 2009 3:34:09 AM PST
A southeast Texas school district is asking a federal appeals court to throw out a ruling that its enforcement of a grooming policy violated the rights of a kindergarten student who refuses to cut his hair for religious reasons. In January, a federal judge in Houston barred the Needville Independent School District from disciplining the boy, a 5-year-old of Native American descent, for wearing his 13-inch hair in two long braids outside his shirt.

The boy's parents say he has a constitutional right to wear a hairstyle that conforms to his Native American religious beliefs. The district says it has a right to enforce its grooming policy.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to review the case Friday.