Texas school officials sued for allegedly coloring in black student's fade with permanent marker

Texas school officials sued for allegedly coloring in black student's fade with permanent marker
© ABC13/Screenshot

The parents of a Texas seventh grader are suing their school district and three of its employees after they say their son's fade was colored in with a permanent marker earlier this year for violating the dress code.

ABC 13 reports that the civil rights lawsuit was filed Sunday against Pearland Independent School District, Berry Miller Junior High discipline clerk Helen Day, principal Tony Barcelona and teacher Jeanette Peterson for allegedly coloring in 13-year-old student Juelz Trice's haircut in April.


Trice reportedly arrived at school with an "M" shaved into his hair and was told it violated the dress code. Barcelona gave him the option of facing an in-school suspension or coloring in the design with a marker.

"He came over and said, 'You have two options: You can either go to [in-school suspension] or color it in,'" Trice said to ABC 13. "Everyone was coming up to me. It was like the talk of the school that day and the day after."

The lawsuit alleges teachers laughed as they colored in the design with a permanent marker, which took days to wash off of Trice's head. It also says he felt "humiliated and shamed" by the incident.

Photos showing Trice's hair colored with the permanent marker quickly drew attention on social media, prompting widespread backlash earlier this year. His parents said they were not contacted and found out about what happened when they picked their son up from school.

Pearland Independent School District officials apologized, condemning the action and saying it did not follow appropriate measures for dress code violations. Peterson was put on temporary leave, and the district has since changed its dress code.

Despite the incident, Barcelona was made head principal of the school, where Trice is now in the eighth grade. He had served as vice principal during the last school year.