ACLU sues school system over long-hair suspension

AP News
Posted: Mar 31, 2011 3:53 PM
ACLU sues school system over long-hair suspension

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a Louisiana school system that suspended a 13-year-old Native American student for having long hair, which violates the dress code.

Attorney Katherine Schwartzmann says Seth Chaisson won't cut his hair because of religious and cultural beliefs. But she says Livingston Parish school officials at a hearing last week did not appear to believe his beliefs are sincere.

Seth was suspended for two days in March. He is back in school, but Schwartzmann wants a guarantee he won't be suspended or reprimanded again.

A statement emailed by Superintendent Bill Spear says officials offered unspecified exemptions and don't think the dress code substantially burdens the boy's free exercise of his religious beliefs.