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A Mississippi teen will not be allowed to participate in his high school’s homecoming court s unless he cuts his off his dreadlocks.

16-year-old Patrick Richardson was told by school officials at Vicksburg High School that he would not be permitted to escort his best friend Sa’shia Jones for homecoming court because he had dreadlocked hair.

Richardson says he paid for a tux fitting last week and was upset when the school principal called him to the auditorium and told him that his hair was not permitted.

Speaking to local news station WLBT he says,

“When I decided to grow my hair that’s what I wanted to do. I thought it was acceptable, but from what the principal told me homecoming is of a higher standard and dreads are just not acceptable.”

School official Dr. Elizabeth Swinford says while there’s no written policy, there is a practice that bans dreadlocks on the homecoming court.

Swinford insists that student have been made aware of this and a written policy is forthcoming.

Dreadlocks are not addressed in the school handbook.

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