ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTW) — Facing backlash from students’ families, a North Carolina charter school has backtracked after saying several children with long hair would have to get it cut before returning to school after spring break on Wednesday.

In a note to parents, the Classical Charter Schools of America in Columbus County said it would not enforce the policy for the remainder of the current school year.

“This decision will give the Board of Trustees time to undertake a more studied approach to resolving the issue in the best interests of all concerned and provide parents with time to make appropriate enrollment decisions for the 2023-24 school year,” headmaster Dawn Ivey said in the letter.

Mia Chavis and her 7-year-old son, Edward, live in Robeson County, but Edward attends classes at the school’s campus in Whiteville. Logan Lomboy, 6, attends the Leland campus in Brunswick County.

Chavis said Edward’s hair was in compliance last year, but this year things have changed for many boys at the school.

Their mothers said their sons’ long hair is part of their Native American heritage.

“Our culture in the Southeast has been extremely strong,” said Ashley Lomboy, Logan’s mother. “We’re in a revitalization of that culture. Hair growth is a part of that.”

The school said in its letter that the policy has been around for many years.

“During the Covid years, enforcement of the grooming policy—in existence for many years and published in the Parent Student Handbook — was relaxed (as were a number of other policies) to accommodate the many stresses on parents, students, and teachers. Due to the complex issues raised, the schools have decided that it’s in the best interests of the entire CCS-A community to delay strict enforcement and allow everyone to finish the year as they are now.”

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Dennis Bright is a digital producer at News13. Dennis is a West Virginia native and graduate of Marshall University. He has won copyediting and journalism awards in Virginia and Ohio. Follow Dennis on Twitter and read more of his work here.