An American teenager from Austin Texas, US has been granted a scholarship for $20,000 by comedian and TV host, Ellen DeGeneres and Grammy winner, Alicia Keys after he was told by his high school to shorten his dreadlocks to comply with the school’s rule. While dreadlocks are allowed at the school, the school does not allow them to be longer than shoulder length for males.
DeAndre Arnold was presented with the cheque for $20,000 to go toward his university fees after the story went viral this month when the teen refused to cut his hair due to his Trinidadian descent, where growing locks is a common part of their culture and heritage. Arnold explained that he had hoped his school would be open to listening and learning about a new culture.
The 18-year-old has withdrawn from the school, standing his ground on his locks, since being told he would not be able to participate in his graduation due to the length of his hair. Although he would still be allowed to graduate, he would not be able to partake in the ceremony.
During the show, Ellen pleaded with the school to reconsider their decision to exclude him from the graduation.