Niagara Falls district arranges free haircuts for kids wearing hoods to hide their hair

NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WIVB) – Wearing hoods in school is against the Niagara Falls City School District code of conduct.

Superintendent Mark Laurrie said they recently dealt with the issue in a new way.

“What the team did is they talked to kids about why this was such a problem and when you really listen to what kids have to say, they’ll tell you the truth and in many cases, they did not feel good about how they looked, how their hair was presenting in the morning, and they’re very self-conscious, ”he said.

The solution: free haircuts for the kids who are feeling this way.

Ninja Stylez Barber Shop is partnering with the district to not only help the kids look and feel good but to mentor them and help them succeed in their futures.

“They’re talking to them about why they need to stay in school, what are their career goals, what are their futures, so it’s much more than haircuts it’s counseling, it’s listening for problems and issues, and it’s addressing kids where they ‘ re at, ”Laurrie said.

Marlon Grant owns Ninja Stylez and gave some of the kids haircuts.

“I was greatly amazed and very grateful for the opportunity to actually mentor and actually give the kids part of my life, my humble beginnings, and actually teach them to be more successful,” Grant said.

He said he uses those 30 minutes with the kid in the chair to try to guide them in the right direction.

“I use my positivity to bring them to a level that I think they need to be in certain aspects with educational purposes, with life battles, with the struggles of everyday life.”

Laurrie said he wants to open a satellite barbershop in one of the schools and bring the barbers on as part of the staff.

He’s also included Grant in the high school’s Career Pathways program.

“Barbering is a very good career pathway, it’s a lucrative field, it’s a great field for somebody who’s very social, very creative, and we want to make it realistic and practical,” he said. “And if it’s not here, there’s a business model behind this salon.”

He also wants to expand the program to the middle school. He said they’ll do anything to make a difference.

Kayla Green is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.

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