DeAndre Arnold Proudly Wears Dreadlocks to Oscars After Banned from High School Graduation

DeAndre Arnold was told to cut his dreadlocks in order to walk in his high school graduation in Texas

After a disappointing few weeks, DeAndre Arnold is getting to celebrate his style at the Oscars.

The high school student made national news last month when he claimed his school had suspended him for wearing his hair in dreadlocks. Arnold also said he would not be allowed to walk in his high school graduation ceremony unless he cut his dreadlocks, and was banned from the school’s prom.

In an exciting turn of events, the high school student walked the Oscars red carpet alongside director Matthew A. Cherry, who is nominated for his short film Hair Love. The touching animated short features a black father who learns how to do his young daughter’s hair while his wife is in the hospital.

According to Refinery29, Arnold attended the show thanks to Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade and beauty brand Dove, who sponsored Arnold’s ticket and got him and his mom ready for the show.

“I’m so grateful. I never expected any of this,” Arnold told Refinery29. “The message of that movie and my message go together so well. I think it’s really amazing how they reached out to me and we can fight this together.”

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Arnold said that his father is from Trinidad and that many men in his culture grow dreadlocks. “I really like that part of Trinidadian culture; I really embrace that,” he told KPRC.

His mother, Sandy Arnold, told the news station that after Christmas break and three months before graduation, the school district changed the dress code policy.

“They say that even (when) my hair is up if it were to be down it would be not in compliance with the dress code. However, I don’t take it down in the school,” Arnold said.

Sandy told CBS This Morning that she believes the lack of diversity in the district is the issue. “There is no people of color on the school board. I get it that they don’t understand his hair,” she said.

The 92nd Annual Academy Awards are airing live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 9.

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