|Courtesy of Gary Sanden|
Jakobe Sanden is the 7-year-old Native American boy who was pulled from class while attending Arrowhead Elementary School in Santa Clara, Utah for wearing a Mohawk, which is contrary to the school’s dress code. School administrators called the hair a distraction and requested to the parents that he cut it. It was only after the principal had received a letter from a Seneca civic leader explaining that the style had cultural meaning to the members of that nation that the boy was readmitted to his class.
Is it not ironic that a predominantly white school district can extract indigenous symbols and use them as they please (in the case of Arrowhead Elementary school they have extracted arrowheads, eagles and feathers), but Native Americans themselves are not able to use their own symbols without jumping through hoops. I applaud the administration for readmitting the boy without requiring a haircut, and I would like to now call for the school district (and other Utah school districts who have similar dress codes) to take a serious chill pill and adjust their policies.
|Left: Arrowhead ES Logo
Right: Mo the Eagle,
not to be confused with Mo the Hawk