Judge Rules Needville ISD Violated Native American Boy’s Constitutional Rights

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In a strong rebuke of their actions, a federal judge ruled Wednesday that Needville Independent School District officials violated the constitutional rights of a kindergarten student and his parents, by not allowing the boy to wear his hair according to his Native American religious beliefs.

U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison ruled that Needville ISD is permanently barred from forcing 5-year-old Adriel Arocha to comply with terms of a dress-code exemption policy the district created specifically for the boy.

That policy “violates not only Adriel Arocha’s free exercise rights, but also his rights to free expression and his parents’ due process rights,” Judge Ellison said in court documents released Wednesday.


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