Ellen Pleads for Student’s Return to School After Dress Code Controversy

Ellen Pleads for Student’s Return to School After Dress Code Controversy


Hi, DeAndre. So I know this is weird for you. Because you’re in a school
in a small town in Texas. And all of a sudden,
this is national news. And now you’re on television. And I’m sure this is not
easy or comfortable for you. But I want you to just relax
and know that I’m here for you. Thank you. That’s why you’re here. Because I don’t understand this. They’ve told you that you
need to cut your hair in order to return to school. You get good grades. You’ve never been
in trouble, ever. This is the first time
anything has come up. And now you haven’t
been in school for weeks because
of this situation. So, OK, when did this dress
code happen that you– because you’ve been
wearing your hair up. Right? OK. Every day I would
go to school, I would always be in dress code. But the thing with them
is, if it was let down, I would be out of dress code. And this issue really escalated
about after Christmas break. So you were wearing
your hair up. And that was fine,
but the point was if you let it down, it
would be past your– what is this supposed be? It’s not supposed to
be past your ears? Yeah. It can’t be in your
face, past your ears, or touching your collar. OK. Are there girls in your school? Oh, yeah. OK. And do the girls have long hair? There’s plenty of girls
with long hair at my school. Like, if girls can
have long hair, why can’t I have long hair? That’s my point. That’s what I don’t understand. [APPLAUSE] I just personally
think you should be able to wear your
hair however you want, especially if there’s
girls with long hair. What’s the difference
if girls have long hair and if guys have long hair? And also, so let’s just
say that was just the case. I don’t think it’s fair. That’s my opinion. But also, this really
has more meaning to you. And tell everybody why. My hair really means– like,
it’s really important to me because my dad is from Trinidad. And you know, it’s part of
our culture and our heritage. And I really wish the
school would kind of be open to other cultures,
and just at least let us try to tell you some things. Don’t just shut us out. Yeah. [APPLAUSE] I think that’s what
school’s supposed to do, is teach you about
other cultures. You’re not supposed
to teach them. They’re supposed to teach you. So if you go back to school– let’s say you want to go
back to school tomorrow. What happens? So if I go back to
school tomorrow, my only options are
in school suspension or alternative school. And what is alternative school? Alternative school
is where all the kids that have behavioral issues,
sell drugs, fight all the time. Like I wish the best for them. And I know they have
good qualities in them. But I don’t deserve to
be grouped with them. No. You have good grades. You don’t do drugs. You don’t do any of that. And they won’t allow you
to walk in graduation. Which is the biggest– you get that far
through school, and you want to walk graduation. Like, I’ve worked
for this all my life. I’ve strived for this. I deserve this moment,
to walk across stage and enter into life. My parents deserve this. Like, they’re the
ones who, you know, they got me through anything. And you know, they just
taught me everything. They deserve to see me
walk across the stage. They sure do. All right. [APPLAUSE] We’re going to take a break, and
more with DeAndre after this. Let’s talk about– you
want to go to college. Right? What do you want to major in? When I go to college, I want
to be a vet because I’ve always loved animals– everything about animals. Just their sense of loyalty,
and just companionship. You can’t get it anywhere else. No. Unconditional love. Love it. Listen, do you know how
much school that is? Like, you have to
go to more school than a doctor for people. Go to more– it’s a long time. But I love that you
want to do that. That’s amazing. I have to say something
into this camera right here. I am begging you– this kid is a good kid. He deserves to graduate, to
walk with all the other kids. He’s a good guy. I just am urging you
to do the right thing. Please. Please. [APPLAUSE] Change your mind. [APPLAUSE] You have an incredible
future ahead of you. And as much as this
has been a hassle, I think it will be a
discussion, and an eye opener for these people to go
maybe we did make a mistake. Hey, Alicia. Alicia wants to
tell you something. Alicia. [APPLAUSE] Hi, brother. Can I get some love? All right. Well, I’m so happy
to surprise you. And I want to tell you that I
couldn’t believe the story when I heard it. And I’m super proud
of you for standing up for what you know is right. And I know that the school
needs to do the right thing. Me and Ellen, you know,
we called our friends at Shutterfly because we know
that you’re a special person. And you’re destined for
already such greatness. And we wanted to
support that greatness, and invest in that greatness. And so we wanted to present
you with a check for $20,000. [APPLAUSE] Thank you so much. So when you go to college– [APPLAUSE] Yes, proud of you. Thank you. There’s nothing you can’t do. I want to thank Hoda
Kotb, Alicia Keys. I’ll see you tomorrow. Be kind to one another. Please change your mind. Come on, he’s a good kid.

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