Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington refused to hire Kerion Washington because of his hairstyle. The staff told Kerion that his dreads were considered an “extreme hairstyle” per a dress code policy.
In regard to corporate diversity, the executive leadership of Six Flags is all white and predominantly male.
Kerion’s mother, Karis Washington, posted on Facebook in March that this was her 17-year-old son’s first attempt at getting a job. She said the human resources supervisor told him to come back and apply when he removes his dreads.
“They said they can’t allow dreads,” Kerion explained in an appearance on ABC’s GMA Strahan and Sara last week where he was interviewed by Keke Palmer and Romeo Miller.
Kerion noted that he and his mother were both disappointed.
When his mother’s Facebook post went viral this month, a modeling agency, IMG Worldwide, took notice.
Corrie Caster, head of development and scout for IMG Models LA and IMG Worldwide, referred Kerion and Karis to Jones Model Management, a development and placement modeling agency in Austin.
“We’ve already went to Austin to take a few pictures,” Kerion told ABC13 Eyewitness News.
Kerion, who states on his Instagram page that he’s “Black/Puerto Rican” is a junior in high school. After he graduates, he plans to pursue a modeling career or become a professional athlete.
“If this modeling career takes me super far, I’m going to stick with modeling,” he said.
As for Six Flag’s policy, the company said, in a statement, to InsideEdition.com that the no dreads policy has changed, and included an arbitrary description of “well-groomed”: “Male team members may now wear dreadlocks — provided, per our standard guidelines — they are well-groomed and do not extend past the bottom of the collar.”
Earlier this month, California became the first state to explicitly protect natural hairstyles in its anti-workplace discrimination laws signing the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) into law. New York has also passed its own law against natural hair discrimination.
Related Story: Amber Givens-Davis, a Dallas County Judge, Remains Her Authentic Self Despite Criticism of Hairstyle
Kerion is continuing to live his best life and making serious modeling moves.
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What y’all think looks better color or black and white? photograph: @adammorozphotography modeling for @jonesmodelmanagement @lesliemarrowjones @jonesbriley @corian4 #kerionwashington #jonesmodelmanagement #jonesingtobeajones #newface #whenonedoorclosesanotheropens #blessing