The suit accuses three white school officials — including the school principal — of racial discrimination, insisting that educators laughed as they filled in the fading on the child's haircut during an April incident that took place at Berry Miller Junior High School in Pearland, Texas.
The school insisted that the child's fade-style hair design violated the school district's dress code policy and sent him to the school office. There, the child was reportedly presented with two different options: to either color his head with black permanent marker, or take an in-school suspension.
A portion of the lawsuit states, "The haircut did not depict anything violent, gang-related, obscene, or otherwise offensive or inappropriate in any manner. [The child] did not believe the haircut violated any school policy."
The family's lawsuit said that the child found the punishment to be "highly offensive" and degrading, and it took the family several days of scrubbing to remove the ink.
"It is commonly understood among scholars and the general public that depicting African Americans with jet black skin is a negative racial stereotype," the suit added.
What about the lawsuit?
The family is moving ahead with the lawsuit despite the fact that the district has since amended its policy and is now permitting hairstyles like the one the child had.
The suit states, "After several attempts by the parents and their lawyer to resolve the issues with no response, the plaintiffs initiated this instant litigation for training and compensation."
The child's parent, Angela Washington, shared the initial image on her Facebook page in April, writing, "Juelz got a haircut on Tuesday with a design....On Wednesday at school the Assistant Principal at Berry Miller Jr High in Pearland ISD told him he was out of dress code with his designs and decided to color my baby design with a PERMANENT MARKER! His only options was to go to ISS or get his head colored. They did not call to inform me at all. The first picture is the day of the incident. The last two pictures are yesterday. It's still in his head days later."
The family is seeking compensation and training for district teachers.