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Dress code controversy over student hairstyles




A controversy over the dress code was triggered by a hairstyle.

Logan Rentz says his hair is how he identifies with his culture and being asked to cut it makes him feel like he’s being targeted.

“When he said it, I didn’t feel like I was part of the program. I felt like I was being left out. I felt like I was being belittled,” said Rentz, a freshman at Spruce Creek High School.

Shortly after Rentz joined Junior ROTC at Spruce Creek High School, he was told he had to cut his dreadlocks to wear the uniform. He said no. He has learned that he can still participate but not in uniform, and without the uniform there are several activities that he cannot do.

“I’ve missed parades. Tomorrow we have one. I can’t go because he wants me to cut my hair to have a uniform,” Rentz explains.

“He was able to bond in the classroom, make friends with the other cadets there, and then it kind of got ripped from him,” Logan’s mother Keshia Rentz said.

Her mother says she was assigned 900-word essays instead. Soon after, she hired a lawyer.

“It didn’t feel right to me. It didn’t feel right,” she said.

“It’s part of my culture, and it’s my heritage. It’s violated,” says Logan Rentz.

According to JROTC Cadet Command regulations, “Men are not permitted to wear braids, cornrows or dreadlocks while in uniform.”

But Keshia and her lawyer say the rule is not consistently enforced, and Logan is singled out.

“We have pictures of other young men in central Florida who have the same hairstyle as Logan, and they are in uniform,” said Katie Kelly, lawyer with Community Legal Services of Middle Florida.

They have filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Education and plan to request a military investigation and file a civil rights complaint.

“I’m not going to give up. I will continue.”

The United States Cadet Command told FOX 35 News it sent a statement on Friday, but it had not been received at the time of this article’s publication.

Schools in Volusia County say they are investigating and will continue to communicate with parties involved.

Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest theme park news.




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