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School official says student’s hair-cut allegation untrue

September 4, 2021 GMT

CLINTON, Okla. (AP) — School officials in Clinton say a fifth grader’s claim that he was forcibly held down in a school bathroom by two students who cut his hair have been shown by video evidence to be untrue.

Superintendent Tyler Bridges told The Associated Press late Friday that videos reviewed by school officials do not support the boy’s claim.

The boy initially told his family, who are members of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, that he was held face down by two students in a bathroom and that one of them cut off several inches of his hair.

“We were able to determine without a shadow of a doubt that the original allegation is completely false,” Bridges said.

He said he and other school officials met Friday with Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal leaders and members of the Oklahoma Legislature’s Native American caucus to discuss the incident.

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Long hair among Indigenous men, including Cheyenne and Arapaho people, often has cultural and religious significance, according to the Oklahoma Council for Indian Education.

Bridges said a Clinton Police Department investigation into the incident was ongoing. A telephone message left late Friday with Clinton Police Chief Paul Rinkel wasn’t immediately returned.