Singer Alicia Keys handed the young man a scholarship of $20,000.
DeAndre Arnold, a senior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, faced a bizarre situation wherein he was asked by his school to pick between chopping his dreadlocks and walking in his graduation. As reported by NBCNews, he was suspended for the length of his dreadlocks and also suspended for the period of time that he chose not to cut them.
As the news of this bizarre condition spread, DeAndre was invited to Ellen's show where she spoke at length with him about the situation. As the matter hinged on the length of his dreadlocks, Ellen asked him if there were girls in his school with long hair. He said: "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?" Ellen said that she was trying to elaborate on that very point, saying: "I just personally think you should be able to wear your hair however you want, especially if there's girls with long hair. What's the difference if girls have long hair and if guys have long hair?"
DeAndre' father is from Trinidad and having dreadlocks is a part of their culture and according to his parents, they had an understanding with the school regarding his dreadlocks and they had made an exemption for DeAndre for cultural reasons. Ellen spoke through the camera and requested the school authorities to do the right thing. She said: "I am begging you. This kid is a good kid. He deserves to graduate, to walk with all the other kids. He's a good guy. I just am urging you to do the right thing. Please."
DeAndre deserves better. pic.twitter.com/f06bVcm74X— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 29, 2020
The interview had an extremely pleasant ending when Ellen invited Alicia Keys on stage who, in turn, awarded DeAndre with a college scholarship worth $20,000. DeAndre hopes to use the money for college and become a veterinary doctor.