DEL CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Andreas Garcia’s lips quivered as he remembered the day his long locks were cut in his first-grade classroom at Del City Elementary School. “I was mad,” he said as he retold the story.

Andreas’s parents said their son’s hair was cut by his classmates at the school without his permission right before spring break.

Andreas Garcia before his hair was cut off.

“I was speechless and I couldn’t believe it,” said Jamil Garcia, Andreas’s father. “How do you not notice two kids standing over someone to cut their hair, and how do first graders have scissors sharp enough [to cut hair]?”

Andreas’s mother, Denise Gonazles, said long hair was a proud symbol of their Kickapoo heritage.

Photo goes with story
Andreas Garcia said kids at his school cut off his hair against his will. Photo provided by Garcia’s family.

“This is our tradition,” she said. “He loves his hair and he took the time to grow it out.”

They said the district is taking too long to do anything about it.

“The school did not contact me at all till Saturday morning,” added Garcia. “And yet they want to investigate it, but not until Monday when school goes back in.”

District Superintendent Rick Cobb released a statement Thursday, March 17, more than a week after the cutting incident, saying in part: “We recognize the significance of hair to our students’ identities and do not take this lightly. Any students found to be involved will receive discipline in a manner consistent with steps outlined in our student handbook.”

Garcia and Gonzales said they’ll wait for the outcome of the investigation to decide next steps, but said this isn’t the first time their son has had problems with other students at the school. They may consider moving him to another school, or homeschooling him for the rest of the year, they said.

“No kid should have to go through this at all,” said Garcia. “I just want something done for my son.”