Family upset after 6th grader pulled aside for hair at Cambridge charter school

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — There are many words that could be used to describe Matthew Robinson’s hair – orange froth, a bed of brown, hieroglyphics – but his mother says an administrator used a different word: distracting.

“I said, 'How is his hair distracting?' She said, 'Well, the other kids can't focus,'" Matthew’s mother Jennifer Diaz told Boston 25 News.

Eleven-year-old Matthew is a 6th grade student at Benjamin Banneker Charter School in Cambridge,

Earlier this week, he was pulled aside and spoken to about his hair.

“I feel like it's unfair because I had this for a year and they didn't say nothing about it before,” he said.

An administrator told Boston 25 News a conversation was had about Matthew’s hair, because they stress a clean and decent appearance and felt his hair was unkempt.

According to his mother, Matthew was ready to comply.

“He said ‘I think I'm just going to cut it all off’ and I said ‘no, you're not,’” Diaz told Boston 25 News.

The hairstyle is meaningful to Matthew because it honors a favorite player in the NFL, Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants.

But, more importantly, Matthew says it makes a statement about himself.

“It's my style,” he said.

In that respect, not a hair is out of place on Matthew's head – despite them being angled, spiked, twisted and straight.

“People have different styles, like how they want to express themselves,” he said.

A school administrator tells Boston 25 News Matthew was never asked to cut his hair, merely comb it.