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Boy's Hair Deemed Too Long for School, Mother Seeks Policy Change

A battle is brewing over boys' hair in one North Texas town, as the Joshua Independent School District says a 9-year-old boy's hair is too long.

However, his mother says the rules are outdated and discriminate against her son and others.

According to online documents, the district has very specific rules when it comes to the length of hair for boys.

Hair cannot be longer than the top of the eyebrows, longer than the jawbone on the side or longer than the bottom of a dress shirt.

Faye Abunijmeh says there are several reasons the rules need to change.

"It's too outdated," she said. "It's gender discriminating, because it just says boys only. It's not applying the same rules to the girls, too."

Her son, Habib Dwabe, has been wearing his braided hair up to class since the school year started on Monday.

"It's long, it's curly and I like it," he said.

At home, his mom took out the hair pins out and let his hair come down.

"I would consider it his look," Abunijmeh said. "His signature is his hair."

The boy's curly mane has been deemed to be in violation of the Joshua ISD's grooming dress code.

"The district wants me to cut it to accommodate what rules they have for boys," Abunijmeh said.

She is fighting to change the rules. Still, she admits her son's long locks have also helped the child actor and model stand out in the business.

She posted a comment on Facebook stating that her son's hair is how the agency likes it, and it helps him get auditions.

"Yes, I did say that," she said. "[People at the agency] like his hair but nothing like, 'Oh, you have to keep it.'"

Both mom and son insist they have bigger plans for his hair in a year or two.

"I want to donate it to some people that have cancer," Habib said.

Abunijmeh says she's been in contact with an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients.

The donated hair, she says, has to be 12 inches long.

She estimates that could take another year or two.

"I don't want to cut my hair," Habib said. "I want it long enough to donate it, and I want people to stop calling me girl and to stop playing with it."

Abunijmeh started a petition online to change the longstanding rules immediately.

She said the district told her it is possible her request could be considered.

In the meantime, mother and son will wait for the district to let them know next week if he will be able to wear his hair loose to school or up in braids.

NBC 5 reached out through emails and phone calls to the Joshua ISD and Superintendent Fran Marek.

NBC 5 was told she had no comment on this issue.

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