An eighth-grade student in Dallas, NC, says he is facing ongoing bullying from his teacher for wearing his hair in a man bun. Alex Davis, who has Asperger's, says that his teacher (who is also the school's basketball coach) has repeatedly shamed him for his hairstyle. The remarks have gotten so bad, in fact, that Alex's mother, Amanda Pettus, pulled him from the class.
"He said I can't have my hair up like that because I'm not a girl, or I'm not a fag," Alex said, according to Fox 46, the network's Charlotte affiliate.
Alex told Yahoo that he's been struggling with the bullying since January, but Pettus adds that he's "very anticonflict."
"[My son] understands what bullying is," Pettus told Yahoo, "but he doesn’t understand why."
He only told her about the situation recently. Alex also explained that his hair isn't the only point of contention. He claims that after he answered a question correctly, the teacher once said, "So you’re not completely useless."
"I thought, okay, well, maybe I'm not, and he was like, 'Just most of the way.' And then I felt like, 'Well, maybe I am useless,' but I did answer the question correctly," Alex told Yahoo.
According to an account from Pettus, the teacher even physically removed the hair tie from Alex's bun. That was what drove her to lend Alex her cell phone so that he could record any future instances of bullying.
Pettus also emailed the teacher directly. In his response, the teacher stated that he joked with students and never insulted them outright. That way, the teacher notes, the atmosphere in the classroom could remain casual. However, the bullying continued. After speaking to the administration at the school and even going so far as contacting the school board and superintendent, Pettus pulled Alex from the class.
Gaston County Schools is disputing Pettus' allegations, so the teacher in question hasn't yet faced any disciplinary actions. The school adds that it doesn't have any evidence to support the Alex and Pettus' claims.
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