Teen Says His Hairstyle Cost Him a Job

Six Flags Over Texas' grooming code prohibits "extreme hairstyles"

A Fort Worth 17-year-old says he was turned away from a summer job at Six Flags Over Texas because of his hairstyle.

Kerion Washington has shoulder-length dreadlocks that he has been growing for the last three years.

"I just don't even believe it," Kerion said. "That I would have to do that just to work there. They told me that I couldn't have dreads, because it's more of an extreme hairstyle."

His mother, Karis Washington, said she even called the Six Flags Over Texas human resources department to get a more detailed explanation.

"He don't have no tattoos or piercings, so it's like and that was one of the things she compared the dreadlocks to -- tattoos and piercings," Karis said.

In a statement to NBC 5, Six Flags Over Texas said:

Six Flags is one of the largest seasonal employers in the country, hiring more than 30,000 team members across 26 parks annually. We maintain a company-wide grooming code that includes standard uniforms for front-line team members and no extreme hairstyles such as drastic variations in hair color, locks or partially shaven heads. We do permit braids and we also recognize that some team members may request accommodations to our grooming code due to religious, cultural or medical reasons. We work with those team members on a case-by-case basis to address his or her individual needs.

Kerion's mother said she understood policies, but she doesn't understand why it has to be so strict.

"Why cut his hair for a seasonal job and for $7-$9 an hour. If it was a career, different story," Karis said.

"I wanted to get a job to help pay for things that I need and to help my mom out," Kerion said.

Through it all, his mom said this was a good lesson for her son.

"Not everybody is going to accept you. But when one door closes another one will open," Karis said.

She also said something good has come from all of this. After she posted about her son's experience on Facebook, she received hundreds of comments. Some of those comments were job offers for her son. She said Kerion will have a job this summer after all, it will just be elsewhere.

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