Seneca Youth Sent Home From School For Haircut

Posted By Charlie Ballard September 18th, 2015 Last Updated on: September 18th, 2015

mohawkThis evening, the USA Today reported that in St. George, Utah., Gary Sanden's 7 year old son of Seneca & Paiute decent, “was removed from his classroom this week after school officials decided his Mohawk haircut was too distracting”  .

The 2nd graders parents choose his haircut because its popular with Native people in many places.  Gary's son was only allowed to return to class after school administrators demanded a tribal letter from the Seneca Indian Tribe of New York who wrote:

“It is common for Seneca boys to wear a Mohawk because after years of discrimination and oppression, they are proud to share who they are, it’s disappointing that your school does not view diversity in a positive manner, and it is our hope that (the boy) does not suffer any discrimination by the school administration or faculty as a result of his hair cut”  . (USA Today)


The school eventually allowed Gary's son to return to school with his Mohawk haircut after it was proven that there was cultural value attached to the young boys haircut.  The Sanden family declined to share a photo of their kids Mohawk in fear of backlash that he might receive at school from the media's attention.

We here at Powwows.com, and on behalf of our readers would like send out our Nations strength to this family and say Thank You for reppin us proudly in Indian Country, for everyone else, this is a reminder to always be proud of your Native heritage, rock your mocs when you can, spike your mohawks, and let out a lulu to the Non-Natives of this land to let them know we're still here, alive & well, flourishing.


And maybe when Gary's son gets older, he will remind the schools of St George, Utah., and all the other schools in our country, that they can thank the Seneca's and the four other Iroquois Nations for giving us their tribal framework which inspired the founding fathers to create our U.S. Constitution. #Aho



Home » Native American Articles » Native American Culture » Seneca Youth Sent Home From School For Haircut

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Pat Allen

It is not right to surpress the natural hiertage of this young boy or any others thatvwant to show their individuality. God bless you all!

rosa galyean

It’s refreshing to know this turned out well for this young native of these United States.Especially when so many other’s have been infiltrating and demanding we respect their traditional ways.! I hope this young man will know that not all school’s or people of white decendent’s are racist or bad.!!Of course the parent’s were put on the spot,but all turned out well.!!! Yootva

Gene Peck

While I find the actions of the school disturbing, bless this family for the stand they made. The letter from the Seneca Nation was excellent!

Charlotte snipes

It’s sad that the world has come to the point of bashing hair cuts when there are so many more important and urgent needs in the world

Kristina Zallinger

Let the People be. They are only being themselves…

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