By Frank James

It seems like something from an earlier century in which native American children were forced to give up their Indian ways and for the culture of whites.

A five-year old native American boy in Texas was punished for wearing his hair in two lengthy braids.

School officials deemed the kindergartner’s braids in violation of the Needville Independent School District’s dress code which forbids long hair for boys.

The ACLU sued on the boy’s behalf and earlier this year, a federal district judge said the child had a constitutional right to wear his braids as an expression of his religion. On Friday, the case will be heard by the U.S. Appeals Court in New Orleans.

As the ACLU explained in a press release:

School officials, who had initially placed the student in in-school suspension for violating the school district’s dress code requiring boys to have short hair, appealed the ruling.

The ACLU and ACLU of Texas sued the NISD in October 2008 after school officials refused to exempt the boy from its dress code requirements and instead mandated that he stuff his long hair down the back of his shirt while at school — a requirement that would cause A.A. shame, embarrassment and physical discomfort.