Arnold said that he would secure his hair so it would not touch his collar trying to comply with the rules, The Washington Post reported. He has been growing his hair since seventh grade and until last month, the way he pulled his hair back was accepted, the Post reported.
“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,” he said on the “The Ellen Show” this week.
He also says his dreadlocks are a representation of his Trinidadian culture, KHOU reported.
DeGeneres used her show, and Arnold’s appearance, as a platform, pleading with those who run the district to reconsider the punishment.
Then the talk show host, along with singer/songwriter Alicia Keys, surprised the high school senior who wants to be a veterinarian with a $20,000 check to help pay college tuition.
“I couldn’t believe the story and I am super proud of you for standing up for what is right,” Keys said during the presentation.
The school has not responded to NBC News, KHOU or The Washington Post's requests for comment, the news outlets reported.