Another Day, Another Natural Hair Ban: Vanessa VanDyke Asked To Cut Her Afro Or Be Expelled

November 26, 2013  |  

Source: Click Orlando

This time it’s 12 year old Vanessa VanDyke’s huge afro that’s caused such a controversy. VanDyke told an Orlando News Station that she faces expulsion because Faith Christian Academy administrators want her to cut and shape her hair.

VanDyke was given a week to decide what to do or leave the private school she’s been attending since she was in the third grade.

But VanDyke’s mother says they will not change her hair because it is a part of her identity.

Vanessa said, “”It says that I’m unique. First of all, it’s puffy and I like it that way. I know people will tease me about it because it’s not straight. I don’t fit in.”

But everyone doesn’t have the same appreciation for her hair. Vanessa said initially the teasing came from students but now school leaders seem to be targeting her too.

The school has a dress code and rules about students are allowed to wear their hair. The student handbook reads: “Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction.” It continues to state examples of distracting hair like mohawks, shaved designs and rat tails.

But Vanessa’s mother takes issue with the word distraction. “A distraction to one person is not a distraction to another. You can have a kid come in with pimples on his face. Are you going to call that a distraction?”

Though Vanessa has been wearing her hair like this all year long, it didn’t become an issue until her parents complained about the students teasing her. Vanessa’s mother said: “There have been people teasing her about her hair, and it seems to me that they’re blaming her.”

Vanessa says she would sorry to leave the friends she’s made up until this point but she’d rather do that they have to deal with administrators who keep saying she should change her hair.

Vanessa’s mother said, “i’m going to fight for my daughter. If she wants to her hair like that, she will keep her hair like that. There are people out there who may think that natural hair is not appropriate. She is beautiful the way she is.”

You can check out video of Vanessa and her fro–looking like a young Esperanza Spalding, stringed instrument and all– in the video below.

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  • nych

    The term victim blaming gets misapplied sometimes, but THIS SEEMS a pretty clear case of just that. Kids tease her, so let them be rewarded for being sociopathic little asshats and force her to change her hair so they can gloat over having played the adults like puppets and basically getting APPROVAL and vindication of their bullying from the school admins.

  • idreamerx

    You know all of this could be solve if they just put her to the back of the classroom or tell the children to not look at her hair. It’s not her fault they got distracted. It’s that simple. It shouldn’t be that serious.

  • just a thought

    Her hair is not really my taste but if she wants to wear it natural why not. This is how our hair texture is. We try so hard to fit the European standard of beauty that sometimes we lose our true identity as blacks.

  • kimmie

    That child’s hair look unruly and i don’t think the school was out of line for asking her to do SOMETHING with it…they didn’t necessarily say she had to perm it. Natural or not, no black woman I know wouldn’t send their daughter out the door with their head looking like that. Sorry. Not sorry.

  • samantha

    But that’s how Christian schools are it has nothing to do with her hair being natural, every year they send the rules & regulations about appearance and uniforms and for girls and guys the hair has to be an appropriate length , color, and your nails have to be clean with polish if you are a girl. So why they trying to make it about her hair aka her blackness. The schools tell you upfront.

  • Pingback: Is naturally-styled hair unprofessional? | MyNaturalReality()

  • Deanna

    Distraction must be defined. Just because her hair is long doesn’t make it a distraction. I understand that sometimes it may be hard to see over her hair, but it is also hard to see over someone who is taller than I and that is a distraction to me. However I can’t kick them out because they are tall. Nor would I kick someone out because they have natural hair. If it had colors, writing in her hair, and so forth. I am with all of you on that, but she doesn’t. She just has long hair and that is a blessing in itself. As hard as it is to get a good education now a days, to be blessed to have a family that can afford to send their child to go to a faith based private school in itself is a blessing, let alone to be an honor role student. She definitely isn’t allowing her parents efforts to go to waste. She is working hard and striving to be her best. Great job mom and dad. So many children today don’t understand what it takes for parents to struggle to allow their child the better education than the state requires. The school should be proud of it’s accomplishments of achieving high standards and knowing that she will attend college and be properly prepared for that transition due to their teaching skills. This is what makes a school elite. If their student don’t achieve then they are teaching in vain and will eventually shut down. Education is important for all, don’t stop our children learning due to something as silly as this. Change her seating in class to accommodate the viewing efforts of the others. Now it this is an issue with this student in particular you truly might want to think of your options for hairstyles, because as much as I support you for being natural you can not block others for getting the same education you ask for due to a hair style. Somethings just don’t make sense. Education is most important without a good one you will struggle most your life and something’s aren’t worth losing the opportunities for they may not come around again. Still don’t cut, but is seating is an issue, braid, relax, or have someone taller than you sit behind you, something so you don’t block other from seeing the board to learn as you. If it is not an issue move to the back and keep going with your style.

  • Alexandre Ch.

    (1 Corinthians 11:15) But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

    as we can see, its directors, need to know and obey the scriptures!

  • belaglik

    Geez, I hope all the girls at that school have the exact same size breasts. I hate to think what they would do to a girl who distracts everyone because she develops a bit more than the others or maybe not enough because if you are being teased, then you are the one causing the problem. Way to blame the victim.

  • Guest

    Although her hair is beautiful, I do believe that hair should be presented a certain way in certain settings. My daughter’s hair is naturally curly and poofy. Her dad and I are black. I wear natural styles as well. I will normally braid my daughters hair or tie the hair down with hair accessories. If I didn’t her hair will poof out like this girls and it WOULD be a distraction. This is not a black/white issue and I wish ppl wouldn’t take it there. The girl’s hair is very big. If they said she needed to relax her hair or do anything to change its natural state then I would feel differently. I would encourage her wearing her hair this way during her leisure time. I really do hate that this stemmed from bullying though.

  • Queen_Cunt

    Good for you, Vanessa! You have every right to wear you hair the way it grows! Natural black hair! I love the fact that more and more black women are choosing natural hair. It looks beautiful and anyone who says it’s unprofessional is really making veiled racist statements, even if they don’t realize it. Black does not equal unprofessional.

  • Angela Gay

    what really bothers me in this whole mess is that this the administrators want 2 water down the diversity in their school….at the expense of this little girls culture and her right 2 exist as a human being……if the children were teasing her, than a proper response would be to educate the students with Black history—a perfect teaching platform…it is a school…..I am sorry little girl 4 the inconsiderate and non thinking professionals around u!

  • Pinkface

    This is like telling a gay student that has been bullying that he has one week to go straight or will be kicked out of school.

  • smoinpour

    I saw this on the news last night!! the situation is absolutely ridiculous!!

  • Jenna Goodwin

    This is a story of instead of a school dealing with bullies, they are attacking the individual being teased and placing the blame on her. Take care of the bullies and then tell me she’s “distracting”.

  • Kay B

    She shouldn’t and I hope she doesn’t change it for anyone!!! This is absurd! She is a doll and for those who are complaining and teasing her are just jealous and hate that she loves everything God has given her at a young age. You hate to think this is a race issue but what do they sayfor the curly red hair that can be often be big and all over the place? THE administrators of the school has allowed the bullies of the school to define, manipulate and dictate what a distraction is?! Children now have more discernment than Adults now?! No, the distraction are the group of students and staff who decided to tease a child for her God given natural beauty! The devil is a liar and he knows it.

  • Susan Bloom

    This young lady has a beautiful head of hair, why would anyone look to criticize her for wearing it as it grows, without straightening it? She has a unique look, and she is happy with her style, they should just let her be true to herself.

  • Loreon Barker

    Don’t conform… your hair is Beautiful in Its Natural form…. If a CHRISTIAN School has a problem with that they are not so CHRISTIAN! GOD would not turn you away. . and neither should they!

  • Real Truths

    It’s hilarious, black woman with weave, the half-breed wears her hair natural…wtf?

    • Real Truths

      Maybe the reason her head is a hot mess is because her mom doesn’t know what to do with natural hair but fry it or add more hair? You see she ain’t “natural” is she? I don’t know but something is off with that…..

  • SweetTee

    Neither of the Black people in the video are NOT supporting her. The first woman says she should be able to wear her hair they way she was born (natural) and the second guy basically
    says it’s a private school and they can make the rules. The story is bad enough without making it seem like Blacks are against their own.

  • Jacqueline Knight

    It’s her NATURAL hair! It’s not pink, blue or purple! It’s not a mohawk or spiked! It’s her flipping hair!

    • Terry DeCarlo

      And a white gals NATURAL hair is 10ft long and if kids make fun of it they are bullying her and if fellow students trip over it in the hallway and she refuses to cut it or put in up in a bun she shouldn’t get expelled from this private school? I think not young lady.

  • Terry DeCarlo

    I have no problem with Little Miss VanDyke’s do provided she is required to sit in the back of class so as not to block the blackboard view of other students just as a white gal would have to if she had a huge hair-don’t. There… problem solved.

    • Terry DeCarlo

      Well, no, the white girl would have actually gotten expelled because she couldn’t pull the race card. Oh well. Problem not solved. hahahahaha hahaha

      • FromUR2UB

        Oh, shut up. The race card only exists when inbreds like yourself deal it.

        • Terry DeCarlo

          You’re silly and FYI I’m a half Hispanic f@g and my parents come from separate countries, I ain’t no inbred.
          >>>I just hope she doesn’t walk around topless in college and demand special rights for going “natural” or demand on wearing a leather bikini and flip flops at the Fotune 500 company or law firm etc she
          gets hired at. Yikes!

        • Terry DeCarlo

          My parents are from 2 different countries so I ain’t no inbreed. Also, I didn’t deal the race card, the media dealt me it regarding this travesty but maybe I got sucked in a little too easily. Take care of yourself U2RUB.

  • April Smith

    I say wear your hair the way you want but if you don’t to get put out of school you might have to change your style. its a shame hat its such a issue!

  • Sonja

    The company I work for ALLOWS a grown man from the Ukraine who now lives in the U S to walk around wearing NO DEODORANT and I find it offensive. But do they tell him he has to wear deodorant??? NO so why should she have to change, we wore our hair just like hers when we went to school no one complained. There is ALWAYS A PROBLEM when it comes to our African culture or heritage. ALWAYS A PROBLEM!!!!

  • carla dias

    Soooo, the school is more concerned about this child’s hair than one of the other little darlings possibly having a backpack or a locker full of weapons and ammunition. Hmmmm.

  • Leonie

    Under the human rights treaty she can and should sue the balls off this school! I don’t know American legislation but I’m sure there must be a race equality act she can also use to support her claim in court. This is discrimination in its highest form!! The fact that some of you think it wouldn’t be presentable for her to wear her hair like this in a job interview just shows how deep routed discrimination and indirect racism is! Scary, I’m sure you don’t think your a racist if you’ve left that comment along side ‘it is beautiful hair’ but those comments are indirectly racist, which makes you at the least bloody ignorant! I very much doubt it’s in the uniform policy, I don’t think her parents would want to take the issue this far if it stated that ALL children should wear their hair up…come on now!

  • Kimberlykeepnitreal Everson


  • nicole

    love she has beautiful hair

  • nicole

    she has beautiful

  • Tharris

    Her hair is no different then an african with dreads a white person with spikes n his head or a Hispanic with poofy hair. For some people there hair reflexs who they are as a person. An how they feel about themselves. I have a student that is white an has spikes in his head that are atleast 4in tall. Thats who he is let her be the beautiful young lady that she is. You have some teacher that come to work everyday with a bad order but they are excellents teachers no one is saying they are a distraction.

    • Laine

      Her hair is different than the examples that you gave, because she didn’t even alter her hair. The spikes, the dreads, they are all additional things done with the hair. I agree that we should focus on other stuff than how someone looks. This case is worse because she didn’t even alter her hair for it to be deemed not appropriate. Why should she change, alter herself because others are uncomfortable with her natural self. It’s so ridiculous.

  • naturalnurse79

    I think her hair is beautiful, but there are dress codes and regulations that I am sure they were already aware of before this became a problem. I am sure she can wear her hair however she wants when she is not at school but they put dress codes and regulations in place to create an environment where children are less likely to be teased or distracted because they are uniform. My hair is natural and I do wear it out and big sometimes however when I am at work we have a dress code which I have to follow. Rules are rules and sometimes we have to conform.

    • Laine

      So what exactly is the regulation here? That if your hair is big and natural you have to alter it because it’s a distraction?You’re okay with that? Do the children withstraight hair also have to wear their hair in buns then? No.. You’re okay with rules only applying to people that have a certain hairtype? You’re missing a very important part of the story. There was no problem with her hair until she rightfully went to complain that she was being bullied for the way it looked. Only then did the school say that she needed to change it, in order for her not to be bullied and so that her hair no longer could be a distraction. But that’s okay right, it’s just conforming, conforming to the bullies. The way her hair grows naturally out of her hair should never be a distraction, if she had altered it by dying it, cutting it in some extreme hairstyle, maybe then I could have understand it. But this is who she is unaltered. Her unaltered self is a distraction now!???

  • lewrites

    I used to get made fun of for my big hair, and I’m white/Native American. I most definitely got the frizzball massive curly German genes for my hair instead of the pin straight Native American hair that my mom has. This is just to say kids will be harsh about big hair no matter what race you are. Now aside from that, this girl should absolutely be able to wear her hair big and proud like she wants! There’s nothing she can do about it. I only wore ponytails and braids or straightened my hair when I wanted to and this girl should have those same priveleges.

  • Elle

    This is an attack on a child. She has beautiful hair why didn’t the
    school just say to her your hair distracts classmates who sit behind you
    in class. Can you please wear a scarf or something to cover your hair
    doing class? Opposed to threatening her with expulsion for hair that God
    blessed her with?

  • Elle

    This is an attack on a child. She has beautiful hair why didn’t the school just say to her your hair distracts classmates who sit behind you in class. Can you please was a scarf or something to cover your hair doing class? Opposed to threatening her with expulsion for hair that God blessed her with?

  • Dee

    This is a christian school right? I am a christian and what is clearly stated in the bible about judge others and judging them according to appearance?

    JOHN 7:24: “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

    Matthew 7:1-3 1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
    3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

    This school is judging this young lady’s and any other person THEY deem is causing a “distraction.” They are leading by example..and not a good one. They are showing unacceptance and intolerance of how God made a person. This girl is a beautiful person that God created. Therefore, they are passing judgment on God and dishonoring and disrespecting Him. They really need to think about what they are teaching these kids? They are being hypocrites and will come under the judgment of God.

    This “christian” school should be ashamed of themselves.

  • shutuptalkingtome

    if this was a gay issue…the responsers would be totally different and everyone would b saying shes being bullied for being herself….i dont c a difference. why cant she wear her hair the way she wants to?

  • T Iredol

    BY virtue of her getting teased about it shows the distraction. And the nut job of a mother comparing hair length to skin problems like acme shows just how parents can be. No personal responsibility.

    • Shevonne Harris

      You are so wrong on this issue. This is a bullying issue plain and simple, and this is supposed to be a CHRISTIAN school in the United States of America in 2013. Kids will do what grownups allow them to do. The parents of those bullies need to teach their children right from wrong and that God commands us to love each other no matter what they look like. Teaching opportunity missed. When those bullies get older and end up in juvenile/adult court or in the hospital/morgue from a bullying incident gone wrong, their parents will be wondering what they could have done to prevent this. They are lucky that this is a sweet little girl and not an emotionally destroyed child with access to firearms. Are they really teaching Christian values at this school or are they just benefiting from the tax exemptions or non-profit status? Something to think about.

  • Shevonne Harris

    Saying that her hair is a distraction is a racist view. This CHRISTIAN School needs to remember that God made us all a certain way including her natural hair. To suggest that she straighten it is UNNATURAL and requires heat or chemicals not to mention lots of money. How dare they use a Barbie Doll as the standard of acceptability. Where are their CHRISTIAN values and why aren’t they teaching the BULLIES that the GOD they claim to serve made her this way. Don’t think for a minute that HE isn’t watching and expect to answer for this when your time comes. How will you justify this to HIM? BET YOU CAN’T!

  • DeNae

    I hate this. It’s very sad and telling of pure ingnorance that still exists. I have friends of all races and nationalities.. With different types of “hair” one in particular is white..with very frizzy hair and about shoulder length. One could say almost “afro like” but its her NATURAL hair. I wonder if she would be a distraction as well??..are we residing in the “land of the free”…maybe not so much when asking a child to “change”simply bc people don’t understand or like her hair. We learned ALL people are DIFFERENT in KINDERGARTEN!! And its NOT about the so called “dress code”….now if her hair was purple I would have a different opinion… But its in its NATURAL state.. And she has EVERY right to wear it that way….just like everyone else…

  • Stephanie Matthews

    I’m sorry, but just because your hair grows naturally like that does not mean u should get up and go out the door with your hair the way it was when u woke up. Comb it and style it in some kind of way. I wear my natural hair, but I don’t just get up and go. Seriously. It looks like she didn’t do anything to it at all.

    • Laine

      That’s your personal opinion….To me her hair looks perfectly fine

  • Jtoodaj

    It’s funny how in this country we can accept homosexuals and yet an African American still haft to put up with this type of treatment#TheStruggelContinues

    • Chrissy

      Wooooow, never seen an ignorant comment on here before *sarcasm*. I’m Christian and i KNOW homosexuality gets this treatment too.

  • Jason (PROJECT JKFX)

    sez: Look at Hayley Marie Norman from “Norbit” & “Deal or No Deal” — she’s known for her Afro **and** she’s famous. If Vanessa likes her hair, she should keep her hair and just watch all the haters’ jaws drop the second she gets famous. Can I get an “AMEN” up in here!??

  • Ramon Jones

    She do not alter her hair from its natural state. Her hair appears clean and stylish. It seems like the school is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  • Janis Z

    Come on guys…you know what this is….Babygirl wants to wear her ‘down’…but she doesn’t have ‘down-type’ hair (didn’t get Dad’s). Mommy- flat-iron your daughter’s hair…YOURS is ‘straightened’!!
    Plus -THAT is NOT an Afro…I got it that she wants to be Natural…but look around…the Natural hair wearing ladies are ‘doing it with Style’!

    • Laine

      Stephen? Is that you? Please go and attend to master Calvin

      • Allasandro

        You seem like you ALWAYS have something to say to EVERYONES post when you disagree. Be an adult and say what you have to say and stop. You look very demanding and a bit controlling.

        • Laine

          Well, I agree with you that on this post I went ALL IN. It’s a topic I’m passionate about. I am an adult, but I can’t deal with ignorant statements like “she can’t wear her hair down, because she doesn’t have the type for it”. Than I also get immature. However, I am not demanding and controlling at all, and I don’t think you can tell that because of my posts on one article. And you’re right, I’ll stop when I”m done saying what I have to say. I am however far from done and saying what I want. I am pissed off, and I just can’t understand some of these comments considering we are living in 2013. Sorry, if that annoys you.

  • CapricornGirl2013

    I understand that as a parent we should stand up and fight for our children, but I also believe that we as parents need to choose our battles wisely. In this case there are clear solutions to keep this amazingly beautiful and talented girl in school where she belongs and that solution is to put her hair in a neat bun or attractive braid styles to keep her hair neat and well groomed. When she turns 18 she can wear her hair in any style she chooses.

    • Laine

      Her hair IS neat and well groomed !!!! And your missing a very important point in the story! The school only stated that she needed to change when her parents went to complain about her being bullied!! That’s when the school took over the policy that apparently when you’re being bullied, you’re the problem and you need to change. Ridiculous!!! Why is her hair, and not of the other students, when it is lose, not well groomed? Can you answer that question? None of the other students are required to wear their hair in a bun or to cut their hair!

    • lovitar

      .. young might be interested to note that for her, that hair style is as natural as they come and to do anything else would require large amounts of chemicals and a lot of time with a flat iron (daily) in order for her to abide by more anglo standards of beauty.

  • Heather Gregory-Johnson

    It seems to me many of you are forgetting that she has always wore hear this way. It did not become a problem until they started to complain about their daughter being teased. It is like the school is saying, if you want to wear your hair in an afro then you should be teased, this needs to be handled. How is she not following their dress code? I wear my natural hair and I do not care who does not like.

  • Brian Odom

    Why doesn’t the (white) daddy have a word to say? LOL.

  • Nicholas Reichart

    It violates the school dress code of a private institution that she is voluntarily paying money to attend.
    This isn’t a grey area matter at all, she is in the wrong.

  • Jalil SoulKid Phillips

    I think that hair is gorgeous but we have to be respectful of private school’s right to make their own rules. The school is certainly infringing upon her right to free expression but that school is PRIVATE. I take the side of the student but the school has a right to make rules. I do find it interesting how her hair was a problem ONLY AFTER the parent complained about teasing though. Now that is the sin that is really apparent to me.

  • Adrienne Williams

    I hope they don’t do it and sue the hell out of that school. More racism on the texture of our freaking hair! i”m so over this!!! She looks so lovely, I had hair like that… and now it’s growing like that, and someone better never tell me to cut or shape my afro at work!

  • Ismael

    Really… is that school that superficial… let her wear her hair how ever she wants once it starts to create a sense of assault then yes i would agree with changing it. This is racism based on hair, good job America… I personally do not see anything wrong with her hair it does not bother me I see her as an individual.

  • Adrienne

    Your hair is beautiful.

  • T’kehya

    they calls it a “hairstyle,” but its not though

  • Kayla

    I am 5’11” in the 10th grade. I am constantly being told a person cannot see because they are shorter and sit behind me. And talk about distraction! Every time I see a new person they have to stop and tell me how tall I am. This is a school. WE are there to LEARN. I have been made countless times to sit in the back because of my height even though the teacher knows I get lost easier in the back and that I have problems seeing the board, but it never stopped me from getting a 4.5 GPA. Nowadays students are so spoiled that they think everyone else has to change to fit their needs. When they get a bad grade on a test, it’s probably very easy to say it was because the black girl’s afro that sits in front of them made it hard for them to see. These students are just going to use her hair as an excuse for slacking and doing poorly. Trust me, I know! I have been blamed mulitple times for being too tall for a person failing or that I am too smart and don’t give other students a chance to answer questions. Students find ANYTHING to blame failure on and usually if the student is white, the school will back them up on it. I went to a Christian School my whole life in Jacksonville, FL and let me tell you, they had RIDICULOUS rules. They also had a rule very similar to this one’s about hair but it mostly applied to boys. The administration would back the white children up on just about anything. It got to the point where a friend of mine had to sue the school for discrimination and she won! Unfortunately it did not amount to much. This little girls afro is beautiful. Everyone is saying that they do not understand why she can’t get braids. She CAN get braids but that does not mean she SHOULD. This girl is beautiful. The problem in the situation is not her hair or her stubbornness, it is the single mindedness of this school and the students. In school we are always encouraged to be unique and then you take away a 12 year old’s individuality. She didn’t say she liked her hair because “it’s cute” or “it’s pretty” she likes it because it makes her unique! It’s things like this that cause insecurities in young girls. Here you have a young beautiful confident black girl trying to be herself and work with what God has given her and she is told that she is too different. What message is that sending to every black girl out there? It’s okay to be different, to a certain extent? And the fact that her own people are not backing her up. And here’s another thing with this whole “you go to a private school, so you have to follow their rules” thing. You are paying them. Point Blank. Period. Multiple times at my private school they have tried to do something we did not agree with. We pay them tuition and as much as they make it seem like they don’t, they need our money. After the lawsuit, the girl left the school along with a few other families. The school is very cautious about discrimination now. They need our money. If you feel strongly about something, fight for it.

  • DeDo

    I don’t think people are getting the big picture. This has nothing to do with discrimination why is it that every time someone goes against what a black person says or does whether its right or wrong. WE ALWAYS hollering discrimination GTFOH with that BS. I love to see natural hair whether in an afro, twist or braids. Overall the versatility that the hair can do…keyword I just used VERSATILITY. If you look closely, you all cannot say that her hair does not look like it has even been combed more teezed out! That policy in the book doesn’t just apply to her but it applies to all people. She just had to be a little black girl but I’m like everybody else I think its wrong to threaten to expel her because of her hair but at the same time, parents my goodness if you want her to stay in that school that you opted her to go and you like that school you can’t tell me that you can’t compromise. I don’t care what no one says her hair is all over the place. Who natural do you all know that is wearing an afro that isn’t tamed and with that length and texture. Now what if she kept it like it and gave it some curls or if she twisted braided it and took it down then what?

    • Tanya

      I’m sorry “her hair is not tamed”? Who are you to say that. You may love twist outs and braid outs but that does not mean she has so. She may like it that way. soooooo you GTFOHBS. Please and Thank You.

    • enlightenment

      Bullsh*t! I bet everything that if it was a white girl with frizzy hair, just as voluminous as Vanessa’s, they wouldn’t say sh*t. There are LOTS of frizzy-haired white girls who have hair just like hers, never in my life have I heard private schools in the news crying explusion.

      The very nature of the Afro is “wild”, no matter HOW much you comb it or HOW much you brush it. You should know that, you’re a black woman! I think it’s ridiculous that even silky-haired white girls can get away with messy, unwashed, uncombed hair and no one says it’s a distraction. But when a Black girl wears her natural hair (and I do think it’s been combed and brushed), it’s a problem.

      They’re basically saying this: “We’re going to expel you because we don’t like the way your NATURAL hair grows out of your scalp…even though other people wear their natural hair, but we like how their hair looks.” Private schools have their own rules and that’s fine, but asking someone to hide their hair, just as Eurocentric beauty standards have always told us for centuries, is not something I can get on board with.

  • Miron Arnold

    Yeah, worrying about hair is really the issue. Good job, guys, for showing why the US educational system is backwards!

  • Franica

    What about girls of other ethnicities that have really thick, naturally curly hair? They sometimes have big hair when it’s not straightened. Is their hair a distraction also?

    • justsayin

      And they are often made to wear their hair pulled back depending on the school. Depending on how strict the rules are, they can catch heat too …

  • me

    This is why I have always said I do no believe in sending black children to private schools. They are consistently undermined and disrespected. That said, a rule is a rule – that’s why it’s private. I just feel like there have serious sensitivity issues when it comes to diversity at those places.

    • Kristen

      That’s a very close-minded statement. I went to private schools growing up, including the Catholic university I graduated from. In grade school the private schools were predominantly black. Private school doesn’t always equal majority white. No doubt I received a good education – I learned more about Black history than I ever would have at public school. My university is mostly white but I proved myself just as worthy of being there (if not more) as any white/Asian student. Being black in this world you’re going to face diversity and discrimination no matter what, unless you stay in a black neighborhood all your life and never leave, travel or decide to explore what else is out there. Plus you can still be teased, harassed and singled out among your black peers. That’s the worse kind of bullying I’ve seen growing up. Black v Black, light skin v dark skin, Black v African. This particular girl is excelling in her classes. There’s no reason why she shouldn’t attend private school if it’s clear she is an exceptional student.

  • AttentiontoDetail

    There are 2 issues here: bullying and enforcement of standards. 1st) You do NOT handle a bullying situation by telling the target THEY need to change. Period, point blank. 2nd) if non distracting hair is a condition of enrollment, that they parents signed up for, the school should’ve addressed the issue when she first wore her hair out, which was the beginning of the school year. The story didn’t mention any complaints from children not being able to see around it, but if so, that is a valid complaint. However, waiting until SHE’S distracted by kids teasing her is bad timing to enforce the standard and it LOOKS retaliatory & biased.

  • Kc

    This is ridiculous. I am natural and I love to wear my afro out, but I pull it back in certain situations like for instance clinical placements. Would you want to be the kid sitting behind her, or would you want to be the teacher having to rearrange your class and put her in the back, when it could all be solved by a ponytail.This child needs to learn that the world does not revolve around her and that hair is nice, but its not what makes her unique. Its a school for crying out loud, not a party. Seriously, are we black women now defined by our hair, because Id rather be known as someone who excels rather than someone who cant compromise. Her mom really needs to talk to her, because hair is so not a hill to die on, there are bigger issues facing black women.btw, kids with pimples cant do anything about it, this child can, its called a ponytail

    • A guy with kids and long hair


    • enlightenment

      But isn’t it peculiar that the school didn’t suggest a ponytail? According to the VanDykes, the school said she should either straighten or cut her hair, or face expulsion. That’s what probably struck a nerve.

      • Chrissy

        they probably don’t know if the pony tail is possible with natural hair. there is an obvious ignorance to her hair type

    • Laine

      Why should she put it in a ponytail!? Who decides what hair is “too big”, too distracting!?? Maybe a TWA would also be distracting for the school. I bet there aren’t a lot of redheads in the school, that could also be distracting and new! Are we going to dictate that those children dye their hair? Come one…! There is nothing wrong with her hair !! The schools policy only teaches her and the other kids that black natural hair in its natural state is only “appropriate” when its a certain way and that’s just BS!

    • devrie

      Still, none of the kids complained about her hair getting in the way of them seeing the board. For all you know, the school seats kids in groups of four desks facing eachother so that no one is sitting behind anyone. We don’t know, because no one complained that her hair was a distraction–and since no one complained and since no teacher said it was since she started school, she has been following the school policy in the student handbook which stipulates natural color hair that isn’t a distraction.

      It wasn’t a distraction. Some kids teased her on how it looks. Kids tease for million reasons (being very skinny, overweight, having freckles, nose…), and schools generally don’t consider the thing being teased about to be a distraction worthy of correction or expulsion.

  • AttentiontoDetail

    she reminds me of Rae Dawn Chong in that still pic. so pretty!

  • A guy with kids and long hair

    If that were my daughter I would simply enroll her in a school where the rules are not so controlling. Mom and Dad’s need to read the contracts they sign. There is no issue here ! Leave if you dont like it . Stay and abide by the rules if the school is a good one. BTY she is beautiful I love the hair

  • Andre

    Afros is the natural look for black people…why is it when black people want to express their CULTURE some white and black people have a problem with it. We are the only race of people that when we express ourselves its called a distraction give me a break. Its the classic syndrome you must be right if your hair is white! Black people hair being straight its not natural for us. but for some of us to fit in we must burn our hair and scalps to be a part of white society. Sad just Sad!

  • Caramel Empress

    White girls that constantly flip their loose flyaway hair over their shoulder can also be considered a “DISTRACTION”, all hair regardless of texture looks neater when it is pinned up or braided. So whether this issue is about neat and tidy presentation of oneself or so called “distractions” then the school should adopt a UNIVERSAL policy that ALL hair should be pinned or braided! why one rule for one and not the other? because like i said white girls swishing their hair left and right is just as much of a distraction as having an afro! And to even suggest cutting her hair is beyond LUDICROUS! This school is full of BS! Period!

    • enlightenment


  • GMG

    braid,or just twist the damn hair,cant be that complicated

  • Lanky

    Before I start, I will state that I am black, an African and a teacher. The young lady’s hair is beautiful no doubt, but you should know that it is what it takes to distract the other students in the class who will want to touch, feel the hair and make comments about it while the teacher is trying to teach. The difference between Christian and Public schools is that the former has rules and regulations they enforce to make sure students conform to a certain behavior. That’s why I sent my son to a Catholic school, while I teach in the Public where students are allowed to behave and wear anything and teachers blamed for failing grades.
    In Africa, where every child is born with an afro hair, they are asked to come to school with braids to avoid such distraction. The parents have the option to abide by the rules of the school or transfer their child to a school where she can excise her freedom of “hair”

    • Laine

      This is 2013! If people have never seen an afro before than they need to go out in the world more, sorry! And even if the students wanted to touch and feel the hair, why is that bad? Isn’t the point of school to educate ? Well, educate about her hair and differences in people. I’m sure “the hype” would die down soon….! And obviously in Africa, where according to you , afros are a distraction people are still mental slaves…

      • Chrissy

        it sure sounds like you are one too

  • FromUR2UB

    I’m more concerned about the teasing. Why would anyone want to send their child to a school where teasing is condoned and school leaders have begun to single her out? Does this school offer something that can’t be obtained at another school, other than the prestige of a private Christian school? Perhaps they feel they are making a statement by remaining there, enduring the teasing. But, I promise you, this environment is going to have long term effects. It’s difficult to trust and believe in the goodness of people when you’re subjected to constant teasing, mainly because of those who join in the teasing for fear that if they don’t laugh at the jokes, they may fall victim to teasing themselves. Teasing isolates people and makes them feel very alone, and at 12, it’s hard to let that roll off.

  • just cause

    The administration is again turning a blind eye to the bullys and picking on this child about her hair, because it is easier for them to bully one child as opposed to a bunch of bullies. It would also be a good thing to learn to follow school rules. All the children should follow the same rules. Why don’t the just have everyone shave their heads and wear uniforms and be done with the controversy. No hair no problem.

  • MGR

    I think people are not realizing that kids with straight hair don’t block the view in the classroom. Now if a student says they can’t see because of her hair then she should be wearing a twist. It’s not unreasonable for her to put her hair back. Also if the distraction point is from a teachers perspective then that’s a different story. If a teacher has to ask her to move her hair to make eye contact with a student then it’s a problem. All this can be solved with a simple hair tie. She can always take off the tie during the more social aspects of school (i.e. Lunch, Study hall, etc).

    • Laine

      Come on now, tall students sit in the back of the classroom or someplace where everybody behind them can see, right? Or they just tilt their head a little bit? The same can be done with this child, there’s no need to completely change her hairstyle…!

  • Old School Momma

    Yes her hair is a distraction. Yes they are paying their money for her to attend the school and yes they have a choice to remove her. I am so tired of parents not teaching kids to follow the rules and to pick their battles. I understand there are times when we should question authority but this is not it. A talk needs to happen between the parents and the administration who may not know that there are alternatives to keeping her hair from being distracting including twists or braids. The students who teased her need to be talked to as well. It’s time to teach our kids that rules are made to be followed. As Christian parents it’s their responsibility to teach her to respect and obey authority. Going to media to try and force the schools hand is wrong.

    • Laine

      Why is the hair that grows naturally out of her head a distraction, but the hair that grows out of, say an Asian student, not a distraction? Why are you so sure that the twist and braids would not be a distraction? If the kids start to tease her for that hairstyle too, that might be a distraction to the school, too! She had been wearing her hair in its natural state for a year. It wasn’t until she complained about being bullied that she, instead of the bullies, needed to change. The school is ridiculous, and everybody else that agrees with them, is ridiculous too in my opinion. This has nothing to do with obeying rules, because there’s nothing wrong with that child’s hair. And yes, going to the media and forcing the school to change their stupid ways is the way to go. Why is her hair forbidden, but chemically straightening hair, a process that’s extremely dangerous and not natural, isn’t?

      • Old School Momma

        Why is it always an attack on “natural hair”? Nobody said she can’t wear her natural hair only that she needs to do choose a style less distracting. As I said before the school admins see it as an afro and as far as they know an afro can be cut and styled and shaped. It’s up to the parents to educate them on other alternatives. This is not an attack on natural hair and I am so tired of women making it an attack on her blackness or her choice to express herself. It’s not about that. They aren’t taking away her right to wear her hair natural all they are asking her is to make it more presentable for school.

        • Laine

          And can you explain to me why an afro, the way our hair grows naturally out of our heads should be deemed a distraction, not proper? When most black people don’t alter their hair (braiding, bunning, twisting etc), it’s an afro. Why, in 2013 would that still be a distraction? I’m pretty sure that if she had a little afro, and people could see the blackboard clearly etc, she would still be teased by the way…. But please explain to me why an afro should be a distraction to anybody

      • Old School Momma

        Her hairstyle is the distraction.

    • Kristen

      I feel that you’re right in a way. Your argument would be 100% correct IF the problem was that students complained about not being able to see the teacher/chalkboard because of her hair, or something that hinders them from learning. I went to Catholic, Christian private schools and public schools and I definitely understand the differences between all of them. But the issue I think here is that she was being teased by other students, she did the right thing by reporting that, but instead the administrators said that her hair was a distraction and wants her to alter it, instead of handling the bullies. So essentially she’s being punished because she reported being teased.

      • Old School Momma

        We don’t know what was done to the bullies. We’ve only heard one side of the story. Yes the bullies need to be talked to as well. I agree with that but the school also has a responsibility to protect her as they see fit. If they feel like her modifying her hairstyle would help with that then there you go. As you can see by my name I’m old school. You can’t keep everybody from teasing your kids but you can make sure they aren’t the reason for the teasing. My kids attended Christian school and they didn’t have uniforms but they did have a dress code. I thought it was ridiculous that they couldn’t wear shirts with name brands logos larger than a quarter but I understood their reasoning for that and I complied because my kids education was more important to me than allowing them to express themselves.

        • Kristen

          And like I said, I agree with you, but the simple fact is that this all started because she was being teased, not because the students in the class couldn’t see the teacher/chalkboard. My mom didn’t send me to school with my hair out like that, and I doubt I’d do the same with my kids because that’s the point of school – is to teach you order and organization (but of course once you’re not at school you can do whatever). So this isn’t a distraction as far as distracting kids from learning, at least as far as what has been reported to the media. It’s not a distraction at all unless someone actually complained about her hair and so far we haven’t heard that. I’m sure the bullies would have found something else to tease her about if it’s not her hair.

  • Hope

    If someone else’s hair is keeping you from maintaining a 4.0 the problem isn’t the hair it’s you and your priorities.

  • Angela R. Ingram

    They must have read William Lynch had book. Okay I’m taking it too far but I am just so sick and tired of seeing post like this because our hair do not meet the “other’s” standards. Maybe our hair is appropriate and their hair is wrong. Yeah just like what I just said is ridiculous, telling this young girl that her hair is wrong is just as ridiculous.

  • BabylonShallFall

    So what if I feel like red hair is a distraction…should red-heads be kicked out of school cause there hair is too orange? IT’S BULLSHIT. How dare the school tell her to change after she has been bullied. She shouldn’t have to wear pony tails braids or anything. This is how the creator made her.

    • devrie

      Nobody, black or white, shouldn’t be concerned with the message the school is sending a young girl: your’e natural physical being must be altered or controlled because it is offensive.

      I don’t care what color you are, no child should be told that the way she is naturally must be controlled or changed because it is “too distracting.”

  • Shalan

    Its a private school. You have to follow their rules. If you don’t like it go to a public school.

  • ashleyrdg

    I wonder if this young lady has legal representation…..I would be willing to represent her. I am an attorney in Orlando.

  • Terry DeCarlo

    Hairspray (1988 film) – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

    She is also inspired to bleach, tease, and rat her big hair into styles popular
    Tracy is sent to special education classes

    Set in 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, the film revolves around teenager Tracy
    Turnblad as she pursues stardom as a dancer on a local TV show and RALLIES

    >>> OMMFG This formerly beautiful girl will now cry RACISM every time
    anything happens to her that she doesn’t like. Great, thanks mom. Of course.

    >Oh, and Tracy was bullied too and other students complained they couldn’t see the blac chaukboard through her hair but she couldn’t pull the race card. Jesus Christmas.

    • hbic_of_me

      You’re quoting a fictional movie (from Wikipedia) based on the ignorance, intolerance, and racism on tv in the 1960’s. That scene was to show how pathetically ignorant and controlling the school systems were back then. In some cases, things haven’t changed much since then.

  • Marvin Anthony Labelle

    grow up when you get older your told to shave. have a clean face. bath and clean your self.

  • Rain Francica

    After paying so many years of tuition to this school, I would remove my child from there. Additionally I wonder if it would be such a big deal for her to wear her hair in a pony tail, balarina style while at school and in uniform?

    • janicemvk


      She wasn’t born with a pony tail or a balarina hair do. God gave her what she has and those Christians should be ashamed. Totally hypocritical. If a white girl came to school with extra long hair, should she cut it?

      • Rain Francica

        Of course it is totally hypocritical. Like I said I would not tolerate anyone telling me to cut my daughter’s hair and this little girl has a beautiful head of hair. My decision would be to get her out of that intolerance pronto. And if said white kid came to school with extra long hair is that hair let out? or is it in a bun? or a pony tail? doesn’t even matter they were born with what they got too.
        Here is my point. I went to a Catholic grade school and high school, you cant get more private than that. My daughter went to a Christian Academy grade school/high school. They are big on appearance and uniform must be clean neat pressed etc. I just wondered if this would be an issue if the hair was worn in a style that was not as noticeable. Back in the day the hair style was called ‘Big Hair’ or Mall Hair’ I do remember hearing my class mates running to the bathroom to ‘fix’ their hair cause it was considered ‘not in uniform’. It was an observation on my part. No need to get confrontational.

        • Old School Momma

          I honestly think the administrators may not know there are other alternatives to making her hair look up to standards according to the rules. This is why the parents need to have a meeting with the admin as opposed to calling the news.

          • Kristen

            I definitely agree with you on that. I feel like a big chunk of resolving the issue is gone or not being reported (to us). There’s got to be a happy medium and I’m wondering why no one has tried to meet in the middle.

    • janicemvk


      It wasn’t meant to be confrontational. I just find it strange that these christians would complain about something natural to the child. Wearing her hair loose is natural. If it is dirty, unkempt, I get it. I do not get why she should have to compromise wearing her hair natura or loosel. In that case, all kids (girls) should have to wear their hair in buns or as ballerinas. I am proud of the afro centric hair styles. If nothing else, I think Michelle and her girls should go afrocentric. When are we going to have and show pride in who we are and what we have? Certainly not with backing down on issues like this where ever they occur.

      Long, stringy hair is a distraction when it blows in other’s faces. Who complains then?
      This child was teased because of her hair, not because she broke rules. The school imposed it’s rules only when the family complained about the girl being teased. Did the rule apply only then? Why not chastise the teasers?

      This is a good, talented and smart kid. Why is the school trying to make her an example?

      Since my post, it has come to light that the school would not suspend her. I am glad they came to their senses.

      Just of note: My 3 kids went to private catholic schools, were of mixed race and wore their hair natural. At the time, my girls wore their hair in twists and still do. They were pointed at and teased as well. Why? Because they were different. The school never made a big deal of it, my girls didn’t make a deal of it and neither did I.
      So you see, I am talking from experience.

      Love those afrocentric dos. Would not compromise, ever!

  • Name

    Of course it happened in Florida..The Dumbshine State!!

  • Rebecca Polius

    …man she’s awesome, her fro is big and unruly, I likes it, and she plays the violin.
    Put her in the back of the class if anyone has a problem with seeing over that awesome hair, and let her be.

  • TheColdestCorazon

    Do not conform..they dont respect who this child is now, and they really wont respect her if she complies by tucking her hair in a bun. I wouldnt want my child taught by anyone who rejects their individuality, and clearly the money the parents are investing in this school to educate this young lady isnt respected either.

  • Cee

    When will we come together about our civil rights? The issue really isnt hair.

    • C.Chire

      haven’t we’ve been “talking” and Coming “together” about it since for ever though. yes
      but there a lot of modern day “civil rights/social rights activists” are jokes. they only see the issues if it is against them and are quick to divide and only view opinions that are in since with theirs. so no people do but it is ignorant to. this might not even be a racism issue but ignorance and misunderstanding
      im sure if it was a racist issue she’d be having a rougher time in school and issues about the school would have been brought up before this one…

  • Sharina Clarke

    I think the major issue is not that her hair is worn “natural”, I think her hair is unruly. She needs to comb or tame her hair. Maybe its in the way when she sits in the front of the class. Maybe it brushes past people in the halls. There’s something called personal space and this young woman’s hair seems to be intruding. Her hair looks just as bad as a white girl leaving the house for weeks without touching her hair. Not cool.

    • Drew

      Ah. Greed.

    • hbic_of_me

      How is it unruly? Her hair is combed, if it wasn’t, it would be matted and not big and puffy. Unless there is a rule for everyone to “tame” their hair, then this young lady is well within her rights to wear her hair the way God created it. Not man’s way of dealing with it. A white girl not doing her hair for weeks would get made fun of, not threatened with expulsion like this beautiful young lady. You are part of the problem of why a lot of black women revolt against their natural hair.

  • Divinepurpose

    Oh my, oh my, oh, my… Hmmm, now let me see. Is the hair really a distraction or ignorance and harassment on the part of school administrators, students, and some of the parents? If this little lady has been wearing her ‘distraction’ for an entire school year, and then, all of a sudden she starts to complain about being teased, really harassed, by her fellow students, and possible school leaders, then she is problem? I can’t quite wrap my mind around this. Does the school have a harassment and bullying policy too? And if they do, does in it include disciplinary actions for on going teasing, taunting-BULLYING students for any reason? Just wondering…

  • Kristen

    I’m kinda torn on the subject. First off, I DON’T think she should alter her hair unless she wants to. We all know the damaging effects that could happen when straightening hair. And I think her hair is beautiful! BUT, I must be missing something. I can understand people asking why wont she twist/braid it or put it in a bun. Has she already been doing that? Does she wear her hair big every day or does she braid it sometimes? And how come the school hasn’t given that option any attention and only the options of cutting/straightening it?

    I think it’s pure ignorance on the school’s part. With more blacks embracing their natural hair, whites (and I’m assuming the admins are white) are confused and it makes them uncomfortable! They only took notice to it when she complained about students teasing her. None of the teachers/administrators said anything until then. I don’t think the school is handling this correctly at all. They are protecting the bullies.

    • Chrissy

      you make a good point.

      but that leads me to believe do they even know how to handle the situation??? maybe they aren’t trying to protect the bullies considering the mention of her being teased is the only time they have given her an ultimatum.

      expulsion is to harsh which is why im a bit iffy about this. but did she get asked repeatedly to change her hair after the complaint but didn’t listen?

      im also sure if it was a white girl with really long hair they would require her to put it in a pony tail. the style of your hair can easily be manipulated. but i understand her need to stand out. the whole situation on both sides is being miss handled in my opinion, bc no one is bringing up obvious BETTER solutions-and/or compromise.

      • Kristen

        Exactly!! Something just isn’t right. But last I heard, her being expelled is off the table, but I’m not sure what the final decision is, if there even is one.

  • mekameek22

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the same administrators that have a problem with this wore 80s teased rock band hair back in their day and had no issues with it being called a distraction. Shouldn’t the focus be on education and diversity. This is crazy!

  • Nikkita Michelle

    Is she the only black child in her class? If so that would be a distraction. This is ridiculous. Anything outside of their standard of beauty is a distraction. It’s a Christian school so they should be aware that God made her hair puffy and full and she should not have to fry it or perm it to be acceptable in HIS sight, so she shouldn’t have to change it for them.

  • coolyfett

    Does anyone have Aaron McGruders number?? I have a perfect Boondocks episode for this situation.

  • Kenendy Karrington

    I understand from the family’s point of view but Christian schools are very strict. They put everything in the handbook. I remember first day of school the class stood when a man entered the room and I was still sitting there. It’s a sign of respect and the first thing that was brought up was you didn’t read your handbook, which I didn’t.

    • 4C-beautifully

      Christian schools are strict? So big hair is evil?

  • Gabie Aldrich

    It sucks! But.. When you go to a private school you have to follow their rules..I live in Orlando and there are TONS of great private schools that she could go to that allows her gorgeous hair.

    • 4C-beautifully

      soooo real Black people should not be allowed in private schools is what you are saying?

      • Chrissy

        *roll of eyes*
        you mam, are stupid… its like you don’t read comments or something…

  • feather

    Would you want to be the student that had to sit behind her and try to see the teacher teach.

    There is nothing wrong with her natural hair, except it is a distraction. Pull it back in a bun. There is a need for dress codes and hair included, for jobs, schools, etc.

    If she does not want to comply, the go to where she can where her hair that way.

    • Laine

      Hmm, should we also expel tall students then, because shorter children that sit behind them can’t see the teacher? Are the children with straight hair also required to put it in a bun?

      A dress code should have nothing to do with the way your hair grows naturally out of your head!

    • Hope

      DRESS code have to do with attire, not hair. There are Jewish and white people whom have her texture and type of hair and wear it as such but yet you never see them threatened with expulsion. I went to school with a white boy who wore Christmas ornaments in his thick and densely curly hair he was not threatened with expulsion nor was he deemed an “distraction.”

    • devrie

      This could have been a valid point if she were in this situation because kids were complaining that they couldn’t see. That’s not the case. She’s in this situation because a handful of kids teased her and her mom talked to the school about it.

  • Leah Ashton

    I think her hair is gorgeous. But i do wonder why would it be such a big deal to maybe put some braids, or flat twists in it. Something that would curl it without changing the texture. I know big afros can be distracting but if that is all, place it in a ponytail,

    • Laine

      That’s the way her hair grows out of her head, as a big afro. Why should that be a distraction? The straight hair of children that’s lose, is not a distraction, right??

      • Kim

        If you were sitting behind her in class you might not be able to see the blackboard! Not the same situation if someone was sitting in front of you with straight loose hair. I know I wouldn’t want to sit behind her in a theater, LOL!

        • Kyla

          She can sit in the back of the class then. And lets be honest, everyone is exaggerating a little too much. It’s an afro. It is not going to swallow the person behind her whole! I have sat behind many people with afros, not a problem. Why do you think they have the chalkboard raised? I’m 5’11”. There are some short people who claim they can not see when they sit behind me. Should I leave my school because of it? Exactly.

          • 4C-beautifully

            thank you. That is the dumbest argument ever. I was never able to see around people in class because i am short. perhaps i should jump in my time machine and have everyone over five five expelled from school…you know…for my benefit and all.

        • 4C-beautifully

          as a short person…your argument is invalid. Everyone who ever sat in front of me in class…hair or not…I couldn’t see around.

        • Leah Ashton

          wrong. i have sat behind someone with hair like that. I could see around her hair, it was her head that was in the way. she wasn’t made of glass

      • Leah Ashton

        first of all calm yourself. I said put it in braids or a twisted bun just so she wouldnt need to cut it. i have seen other little girls with the same texture and they wear their hair in a bun or another protective style to keep from having to cut it. AND if you read my comment i said her hair is beautful, but to keep the school from complaining, a bun or braids or twists would solve the issue. i am sure her hair wasn’t always big like that, i have sat in class behind girls with straight hair and with hair like hers, i wasnt distracted, i moved my seat cause their head was blocking my view, shoot their dad was not a glassmaker.

    • enlightenment

      All I heard from what you said was “Yes White Massa, i’ll put away my beautiful kinky hair to submit to your oppression.”

      • Drew

        Yet, you’ve dubbed yourself “enlightenment.” The irony of it all nears perfection.

        • Gabie Aldrich

          ITA!! It’s always the folks who have handles like this say the most rubbish!

          • 4C-beautifully

            and its always people with straight hair who find real Black hair to be rubbish.

    • Hope

      Long hair overflowing on the desk of a person behind them can be distracting but when I was a child it didn’t stop me from maintaining a 4.0. It’s HAIR not a teacher. If the kids aren’t learning it’s not because of that girl’s hair. Period.

    • Old School Momma

      I agree

  • lockstress

    Maaan…take that girl out that stoopid arse school and spend your hard earned $$ elsewhere. Distraction? The nerve. She has THICK NATURAL HAIR! I’m sure had she had a damn white girl weave that would be fine huh?

  • Kiki

    I wear my hair in a relaxed and this story makes me mad! This girl’s hair is beautiful as the way is and it’s sad that these schools is stuck in that these schools are stuck in that Euro culture. To make her parents change her hair so she can get that high quality education is wrong and I hope her parents take her out of that judgmental school and put her in another school. This girl is beautiful and intelligent


    The distractions that are referred to in the handbook are not natural. Most people’s hair does not grow in the shape of a mohawk or any color other than the norm (blonde or brunette tones). This is the way this young lady’s hair grows naturally. If that’s the case, then all female students should be required to wear a bun. I mean most kids of other races have hair that grows straight, if they come to school with their hair out full of split ends, will they be asked to cut it to look “more presentable”? This is pure hogwash and sad that our children have to endure and be exposed to such hatred at these tender ages in life. These people are snatching our children’s innocence up left & right and have no idea what impact this may have on her way of thinking, interacting, & viewing other races. More importantly how is this going to affect the way she sees herself. Smh to adults for not knowing any better.

  • Dee

    What a beautiful intelligent girl and her hair is beautiful just the way it is. My daughter goes to a charter school and they don’t have messed up rules like this and she wears her hair they exact same way as this girl’s. I would take her out of that school if I was her parents.

  • MarriedMomOf2

    I think her hair is beautiful just the way it is and it shouldn’t get in the way of her getting an education. If I were mom I would transfer her to another school.

    • guest

      If I were her mom, I’d get a lawyer. Why should this young lady have to transfer to another school for wearing her hair exactly the way it grows from her scalp?? I’m quite sure most of the other students at this school are allowed to do so.
      Sounds to me like the administrators and students could use a few lessons in multiculturalism and diversity (not going to say ‘tolerance’ here because I hate the use of that word in this context. People of color don’t need to be ‘tolerated,’ just treated fairly).

      • What if they sued the school and lost? You know our justice system is messed up and a$$ backwards, especially in Florida where the whole damn state is a$$ backwards. Best to transfer to another school.

        • guest

          And what if they sued the school and won . . .
          In response to your question, I’ll ask you this: should Black folks just stop speaking out against discrimination just because we might lose a lawsuit?? I know the justice system is messed up, but even if her family loses, at least the issue has been brought to light, and other schools around the country will revisit their dress codes to avoid being hit with lawsuits of their own (much like other states are reviewing and revising their “Stand Your Ground” laws now), and this young lady will have learned the value of speaking up for yourself when you feel you’ve been discriminated against.
          In order to change the justice system, you have to challenge it.

        • lewrites

          Should the Brown family in Topeka just have sent their kid to another school? Instead, they challenged everything and the result was Brown vs BOE, one of the biggest Supreme Court decisions in history.

  • bkenya

    ok, she has beautiful hair and should be able to wear it how she wants, but could the issue be taken care of by her simply wearing it in twist or braids?

    • taz

      Thank you.It is distracting

      • simplyme123

        wait…this is how her hair grows from her scalp…should a student that has straight hair have to result to putting braids and twist in his/her hair also…..i think the big problem here is mainly the fact that more african americans are going natural and embracing there identity and its different from the “norm”……i don’t think anything is wrong with her hair but with societal ignorance….

        • Ellie

          Nothing is wrong with her hair. It is beautiful BUT it is a private school. If her parents chose for her to go to a private school then they have to understand that there are rules and the students need to look presentable. I’m sure she wouldn’t go to a job interview with her hair like that (when she’s older ofc)

          • Laine

            Her hair is presentable !!! Why couldn’t she go to a job interview with her hair like that!?? Jeesh! Are we in 2013, or 1913???

          • Laine

            What is the roles were reversed?? A white girl with long blond hair goes to black private school. Long blond hair is a curiosity, is rare within that environment. The black children start to tease the white girl with long blond hair. The girl goes to complain about the other kids to the school administration, and they say that her hair is a distraction. She either needs to wear hats, or cut her hair. The blond girl can’t change the way her hair grows naturally out of her hair..,, And of course she can wear hats, but why should she because other students have never seen hair like hers before….

            • Brian Odom

              A white girl going to a black private school and giving that school money? They would pull her out of school with the quickness.

              “Your long blond hair is distracting. You have one week to shape up.”
              “Oh really? We’ll pull her out TODAY!”

              And they wouldn’t go the media with the story. Meanwhile, the black girl will beg to go back to the school…

              • Laine

                Even though you’re right in a way, you’re also kind of missing my point..:-)

              • hbic_of_me

                Yes they would go to the media!

              • lordblazer

                there aren’t that many black private schools though I did go to one growing up.. she might be in an area where the public school isn’t the best education according to her parents. Lots of black parents put their kids in religious private schools that have serious race issues and don’t realize how hostile it is towards the child. they think they are doing the best. This is where I believe you and I are on the same page. So I wanted to elaborate for others who are reading these comments. We definitely need to start thinking more of our interests and how to build opportunities for ourselves. I am a strong advocate for multiculturalism even went to an international university in Japan.. And I’ve worked all over the world and speak 5 different languages now. Soooo I have mines, and I enjoy working with people whose world involves more than being on the block. I also realize you do not putt children in hostile situations and you definitely do not put yourself in such situations. We as a people need to realize this.Before we let the majority guilt trip us out of building up our own economic base.

            • Nicholas Reichart

              they have length restrictions in their dress code, so your point is null and void. she would have to cut her hair

              • Laine

                No, my point is not null or void. I’m not sure I get what your point is. The reversed role point I was trying to make was also related to her haircolor , something she was born with. Like the girl in the article was born with kinky, “big”, hair. Something she doesn’t have control over. She shouldn’t have to change that, because others are not used to it.

              • Shevonne Harris

                Length and natural growth are two different things. Black girls shouldn’t be required to look like other races. It should be a choice made by them and their parents. Why would anyone want a little Black girl to be ashamed of who she really is. Life is hard enough as it is. Just wait and see how many of those kids that are bullying her today will lay in tanning beds to get darker, curl or cornrow their hair, plump up their lips and put implants in their behinds. That’s because Black is Beautiful. These kids need adults to tell them bullying is unacceptable and to leave the smart girl alone.

                • A Fan of Integrity

                  Great comment.

              • Joci

                She doesn’t have to cut it just tame it

            • Queen_Cunt


          • Guest

            She could VERY well go to a job to a job interview like that.

          • lordblazer

            the private school thing doesn’t stand up considering what the school decided to do:

            1) put her in a hostile environment through victim blaming. Why victim blamingg? Instead of addressing the bullying she has received they decided to join the bullies. Decided to now enforce the school rule even though there was no problem with her having her hair beforehand.
            2) Arbritrary enforcement of rules.

            overall, it’s quite a big deal the school administrators weren’t commenting for a reason. mostly for legal reasons.

          • Rachel Harris

            Definition: suitable or socially acceptable in appearance, dress, manners, etc.,
            So society decides what’s presentable? The school decides what’s presentable? She has big beautiful hair. And it’s her hair!!!! What she shouldn’t do is worry about what the other students say about her hair. They’re probably just jealous.
            The rebel in me would’ve rocked it out (dyed it black, eyeliner, black lipstick, & nail polish). Would that be distraction? Yes!! Would it be presentable? To some, and maybe not to others. Anything that is “different” is a distraction or conversation piece. Do you, Vanessa. DON’T CUT YOUR HAIR!!!!!!!!! Tell them to grow some!!!!

        • Janis Z

          the issue here is her hair IS distracting – think about the child sitting behind her in class that can’t see ‘around’ her hair. This is not societal ignorance – YOU know that MOST African Americans seeing that child on the street would have some ‘choice’ words for her Mama – main ones being “Why would that chile’s Mama have her out here in the street with her head looking like that!’ Keepin it Real!!

          • janicemvk

            She was cited when the parents complained about the teasing because of her hair, not because it was distracting in the class room.
            The rule was applied to stop the parents from complaining, effectively blaming the girl’s hair for her being teased.

            • Janay Jones

              IldYes the school id avoiding the bullying thats going on and instead blame the parents for her hair zi would sue them forthe next child

            • DeeWild84

              I agree 100 percent

          • trueLuminus

            Those same “African Americans,” women by the way because men aren’t likely to gossip about people’s hair, are all wearing some else’s hair. It’s either a weave, a wig, or a perm all to have straight, “good hair.” Brain washing and self-hate at its lowest. The only distracting thing here is a black woman who thinks wearing straight blond hair doesn’t look silly and fake.

            • Rachel Harris

              you hit the nail right on the head.

          • Queen_Cunt

            Self hating.

          • Rachel Harris

            those days are over! Natural hair is what’s best for the hair.

          • Curly Rusean

            what if a child is tall or fat and the kid behind them needs to look ‘around them’? I wouldn’t send my daughters to school like that but I don’t think this girl should be further victimised or pressured into changing something that occurs naturally.

      • enlightenment

        Your ignorance is more distracting.

        • Mia

          Bwahahahahahaha! You a fool for that one!

      • 4C-beautifully

        Distracting for who? Those who have never seen a person of colors real hair before?

        • Nicholas Reichart

          she’s mixed, there’s a huge different in hair type

          • Laine

            Again, what’s your point?

          • cris

            Not really. Not sure if you are aware but African American hear comes in many textures. mixed has nothing to do with it.

            • cris

              hair, ugh.

            • trueLuminus

              No it doesn’t. It’s nappy (Type 4 texture). If you see any apparently black person with any other type of hair it’s either they’re mixed or wearing a wig, weave, or perm. Have you ever seen a black baby born with straight hair? Black hair grows upward in these patterns: coils, springs, zig zags, and s-curves; in these pattern sizes: watch spring to chalk; in these densities: sparse to dense; in these diameters: fine, medium, wide; and can feel cottony, wooly, or spongy. Either way, it’s still nappy. Go look up the term Afro-textured hair on wikipedia.

              • E. Zarah Fay

                Yes I have…being a Black American makes this possible, shake that family tree hard enough, put it this way, come to South Louisiana…

                • trueLuminus

                  I’m not sure what you’re saying here. Are you claiming to be a non-mixed black person that doesn’t have Type 4 hair? I find that difficult to believe.

                  • enlightenment

                    There are plenty non-mixed black women with Type 3 hair. Check out Mahoganycurls, GlamTwinz, and Naptural85 on YouTube. Come on now.

                    • trueLuminus

                      I concede to that; however, like I said to Rachel Harris, your hair is still nappy. It’s either it’s nappy or it’s straight. No one naturally looks like Misty Knight, do they (straight and nappy)? A white person’s hair grows differently from a black person’s hair. If that’s not true, please enlighten me with facts that I can corroborate. I’ve been looking at hair type definitions on line and its a little confusing. Type-4 includes curly hair, which is classified as Type 3.

                  • Rachel Harris

                    I am a black American woman with Type 3 hair. Black all day long, throughout my family. I’ve check that family tree, and yep, I’m BLACK!!!! So yes, we all have different textures.
                    Even you, without the perm.

                    • trueLuminus

                      I’m a man, so no perm here. Your hair is still nappy, regardless of how many curls are in it. It doesn’t grow the same as a white person’s hair, regardless of type.

                    • enlightenment

                      No one is arguing against Type 3 or Type 4 hair being “nappy”, so what’s your point? However, among the African American community, some might say Solange’s hair, for instance, is “nappier” than Chili’s hair because it has more kinks than curls. But I’d suggest you not use the word “nappy” as some may find it offensive…esp the way you’re using it. Use “kinky/kinkier”

                      And duh. of course black hair, for the most part, grows differently. Its unique, beautiful nature grows out and opposed to growing down.

                    • Rachel Harris

                      I think HE was rollin his neck, eyes, & snappin his fingers. WOW! Its really not that dep. It doesn’t offend me that some are just jealous. And I think that in Vanessa’s case, it’s just that. JEALOUSY

                    • trueLuminus

                      Is this supposed to be some sort of insult to me? Is that where we are, now? We don’t agree, so it’s time for insults? Sad. What next, gunshots?

                    • trueLuminus

                      I’m arguing that black hair is nappy. That was my point, so basically we’re saying the same thing in different ways. And the word nappy is not an insult. People who take it as an insult have self-hate issues. Those same people use the word “black” as insult, like when they refer to their own child as “black bastard” whenever they get mad at them.

                    • enlightenment

                      But no one is arguing against black hair being nappy? And your tone of using “nappy” is degrading and snide. And I said SOME people take offense to it — not all. Just like some people don’t like being called “n*gga” because it’s a derogatory term…other people don’t mind it.

                      You wouldnt say, “What’s up n*gga” to a Black person you didn’t know, right? Bc you don’t know how they’ll respond to it. You’d use another word to address them. And people who won’t accept you calling them “n*gga” don’t have “self-hate”, they have self-respect.The same goes with nappy — it’s sometimes used as a derogatory term. You can use “kinky” which isn’t offensive at all, but means the same thing.

                    • trueLuminus

                      There is no tone in text. How many times does this have to be said to people? It doesn’t matter that some people take offense to the word “nappy.” They have issues, so they’re wrong. The term “n*gga” IS a derogatory term. Nappy is not. I’m black, so yes I would say “What’s up n*gga to a black stranger, had this been 5 years ago.” I don’t use the term anymore. Like I said, some people use the term black as an insult. So should I not use the word black anymore? That is how ridiculous the argument is about the word nappy being an insult.

                      That is all. I’m bowing out before you claim that I’m getting angry or some such nonsense. Have a good one.

                    • enlightenment

                      Never in my life have I ever heard the word “Black” used as an adjective for an insult. So your argument there is invalid. I’ve only heard black people being insulted…there’s a difference. “Nappy” has always been used as a derogatory term. Just like “n*gger” has. For both terms, we’ve flipped the word to become more positive and we’ve embraced it…but not everyone accepts it. What’s so hard to understand?

                      For years, we’ve had people look at our beautiful kinks and make funny faces and call it “nappy”, insultingly. So yes, It’s rude bc it’s always been used in a derogatory sense — read a book, please. Just because someone is a proud black man, doesn’t mean they’ll accept you calling em a “n*gger.” The same way, just because one is proud of her kinks, doesn’t mean they’ll accept you calling their hair nappy

                      Nowadays, white women, if they have a few flyaways and frizz they automatically say “omg my hair is so nappy today.” Insinuating their hair is “bad, ugly.” So yes. It’s insult.

                    • trueLuminus

                      This is incredibly late. lol. I read plenty of books, so don’t assume. However, your response was too good to ignore, even this late. Well done.

    • Toya

      I’m with you. The first thing I thought was “Is a bun or a pontytail too much to ask.” It’s called compromise. She wouldn’t be losing her natural hair at all and she wouldn’t have to cut it.

      • jdiva216

        Soooo…because SHE’S being bullied by being teased SHE has to change? GTFOHWTBS.

        • Ramon Jones

          Yes. She is being bullied and teased by the school’s administration.

      • lennmesh

        Why should she have to comprise her natural BORN hair to receive an education?!?

        • Dalton

          She doesn’t have to. She can go to a public school or public magnet school. Legally, they unfortunately don’t have any ground to stand on. Her parents signed a contract, i’m sure, to go to this PRIVATE school, saying that you will adhere and conform to the school’s policies and dress codes. The policy is purposefully vague so that the administration can and will have final say-so on what is deemed a “distraction.” Sorry, their school, their rules… You knew what you signed up for. If not, you should’ve read the fine print

          • guest

            Wow. It completely amazes me how WE, yes, Black folks, are so quick to acquiesce and co-sign white folks’ discrimination toward our own people. They might as well sit back and kick their feet up — WE are carrying on the divide and conquer strategy FOR them.

            • FromUR2UB

              The parents voluntarily sent her to this school comprised mostly of whites. What did they expect? But, even in a predominantly black environment, have you considered that a student sitting in a desk behind her, might have trouble seeing over and around her hair? Just because it grows out of her scalp big and full doesn’t mean that’s the only way she can wear it. Asserting one’s rights doesn’t mean you get to disregard the rights of other students to be able to see the board. If she braided it for school, then she can do whatever she wants on her own time during weekends. She wouldn’t be giving up anything.

              • guest

                “The parents voluntarily sent her to this school comprised mostly of whites. What did they expect?”
                I would assume they expected the same as any other parent — a good education for their daughter and fair, NON-discriminatory policies that don’t violate her civil rights or infringe upon her person/body.
                What would you say to the parents of an extremely obese student (say 400 or 500 lbs.) who other students had to literally walk around in order to get to their own desks? Or parents of a student with horrible acne and who no one enjoyed looking at or being around? Would you support kicking them out of school until they lost weight or cleared up their acne??
                I’ll tell you what I’d say to them. The other students can make minor adjustments like moving their seats to the left or right, or requesting to sit at another desk altogether. I’d suggest to this girl’s parents that their daughter be open to sitting at a desk where no other students are in back of her. I’d also suggest we learn to ACCEPT other peoples’ differences and create a community of inclusion, not exclusion. Bottom line is that these administrators shouldn’t have even had the audacity to fix their mouths to ask her to cut/change her hair simply because other people don’t like it. Just ALL kinds of wrong.

                • rephog

                  Acne really how does getting sever acne compare to making a choice about ones hair, so you suggest punishment for something that the person has no control over is the same as getting punished for a choice to wear ones hair in a possibly distracting fashion. As someone else stated asserting your rights by stomping on someone else’s is not good no one knows the whole picture and the school since it is a private school does not have to explain beyond the hair style is distracting

                  • 4C-beautifully

                    We didn’t choose for our hair to not be white…it just isn’t. sorry about that. We know we know…not having white hair is offensive.

                    • Shevonne Harris

                      and so is a white woman tanned, with cornrows, plumped up lips and butt implants. Clearly the administrators and parents of those kids didn’t teach them that Christian’s are not supposed to behave that way. Shame on them.

                    • mainstreamisoverrated

                      OMG,you should have seen the white girls who would come back from spring break with braids n cornrows. Some would go to florida or Cancun or something like that. It would look hideous. Professors would be like….chile….

                  • Laine

                    How does the girl have control over how her hair grows out of her head!?? That’s the way it grows naturally out of her head, that should never be a distraction! Yes, she can put it in a bun, but are children with straight hair asked to do the same thing? No! Well, than she should not have to either! She had that hairstyle for a year, and it was only when she started to complain about being bullied that the school thought that her hairstyle was a distraction. That’s ridiculous! Are there students that are short and can see the blackboard when they sit behind her? Maybe, but that’s the same thing for tall students, student with big heads, you just move and sit somewhere else. No big deal, right? Well, than it also should not be a big deal when it comes to her hair! I get that some people don’t understand her hair etc, but I never expected those people to visit this site…. Unbelievable.

                    • Brian Odom

                      The girl does have control. She can’t control the TEXTURE, but she can control the STYLE. The STYLE is what the school is complaining about. Just like a white person can wear a mohawk, a bob, or a short cut.

                      However, I really like her style, and think that the school should concern themselves with other stuff.

                    • Laine

                      But why is the style wrong when this is how it grows naturally out of her head? This is not a mohawk style, hair that has been dyed in all the colors of the rainbows, or cut a certain way. This is how her hair is normally without altering it, and with altering I also mean , braiding, twisting, locking etc. Why is the hair, the way it is right now, unaltered, a problem? A distraction? You know why? Because people are ignorant! It’s the ignorance that needs to be changed, and not “the style” of her hair

                    • Toby

                      The school had no problem with the “STYLE” until other students started bullying her and she made a complaint.

                      Now, because she is being bullied, all of a sudden her “STYLE” is an issue where it wasn’t even an issue before. Bare in mind she had that “STYLE” which is her flipping natural hair, for a bloody year. One whole fricking year and none of the teachers thought it was a “distraction” beforehand.

                  • blacknaps

                    She didn’t choose that hair texture buddy she was born with it. So should she have to put in chemicals or heat in her hair to appease the masses?

                • FromUR2UB

                  What a stupid example: a 400 or 500 pound student. I would ask those parents, “How did you allow your child to get to 400 or 500 pounds?” And yes, they should help the child lose all that weight. What was I supposed to answer: “Oh no, don’t make the poor child lose weight so that breathing won’t get them out of breath. That would be cruel!”

                  You know that the only way there can be no students sitting behind this girl is if she were always placed at the back of the class or with her back to a wall. If that were to happen, then you’d be complaining about someone imposing your suggestion on her. The girl doesn’t have to cut her hair, and since when is braiding it changing it? Myyyyy goodness!!

              • 4C-beautifully

                But her freedom to be herself. I soooo hope you are not black talking like this. Aren’t we done with slavery?

              • 4C-beautifully

                I was always the shortest one in the class. I couldn’t see past anyone sitting in front of me …hair or not. Your point sucks.

                • FromUR2UB

                  Go grow.

              • Ellie

                But its not a black white thing. Its a school policy thing.

                • FromUR2UB

                  Are you kidding? There’s no such thing as black / white not being a factor when black / white is involved. It may not be the primary factor in every case, but it’s there. There’s your introduction to The Real World 101.

                  • Cari

                    I too have very curly/frizzy/out of control hair. And I am a Caucasian…I wonder if I went to a private school with my natural hair not ties up, if I would risk expulsion. Probably not, because I am a Caucasian. This is absolutely racism.

                    • enlightenment


              • Laine

                But who tells you that she’s not sitting somewhere where people can’t see the backboard? And if that was the case, should we then also expel tall students? Are they also disregarding the rights of other epople to see the blackboard??? When is hair a distraction? When it’s big? When is it too big? Or maybe the color can also be distracting, should redheads (also rare) be asked to change their haircolor? Get out of here ! This is 2013, natural hair, whether it’s big, lose, braided etc, should not be a distraction, a curiosity anymore.

                • devrie

                  That would be an issue if she was facing expulsion because kids were complaining that they couldn’t see because of her hair, but that’s not even the case. None of the kids complained that they were distracted from their studies because of her hair.

                  None of the teachers noticed any issues with her hair.

                  Her mother is the one who went to the school to discuss some of the kids teasing her because of the way her hair looks (not teasing her because they couldn’t see). It was the school that decided that they defined “distraction” as “causing others to tease you because you’ve decided not to alter or “corral” your natural hair.”

                  Sadly, if you read the handbook, the school claims that they have a zero tolerance for teasing and bullying–yet they didn’t take issue on that end. They punished her for her hair, which as far as the rules state, followed their own policy. Unless they can prove that her hair caused kids not to see the board, the parents are absolutely right to bring this issue to the media.

                  • Shevonne Harris

                    They say this is a CHRISTIAN school, but after reading this, I am not so sure real believing Christians actually run this school. The God I serve would not and will not tolerate this type of behavior. Better repent and change your decision or you will answer for this.

                • FromUR2UB

                  If you’re going to offer examples, then make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Stature is not the same as hair. Some people change their hairstyles everyday. Tall people don’t change their height. And you know what? Body odor is natural too. Do you walk around stinking just because you ‘shouldn’t have to change’ your natural scent by bathing. Wait until you have something serious to talk about.

              • Shevonne Harris

                She could sit in the back or end row so she wouldn’t block anyone’s view if that was the issue, WHICH IT ISN’T. SANCTIONED BULLYING IS THE REAL ISSUE! Bet her grades and skills are threatening to her schoolmates and they are hoping she leaves so as not to make them look bad. Kids like these grow up to be spoiled rotten grownups you see all over the news today taking advantage of other people because nobody ever taught them how to treat other people.

                • FromUR2UB

                  Yes, place the black girl at the back of class…all the time, so that you could then argue about the connotations of placing her at the back of the class. Think it all the way through. And just because the article doesn’t mention that the height and width of her hair obstructed someone’s view, doesn’t mean it isn’t possible or hasn’t occurred.

            • Dalton

              How is it a “divide and conquer” or “someone quick to acquiesce,” when it is the parent that, of her own free will and accord, signed her up to attend this school knowing full well of the policies and dress codes? Is this morally right? Absolutely not! Ethically correct? Seriously disagree with that! Legally? There’s no ground for this family to stand on. They signed up to go to THEIR school, on THEIR ground, and adhere to THEIR rules. It’s really quite simple. “Only a fool would let their enemy educate their children.” It’s not co-signing to white folks’ discrimination if you’re the one that put your child in that place to begin with. You’re the one that volunteered for it. You think this family will be the first one to change THEIR rules? I just don’t see that happening. I would put that young lady in a school that, not only will challenge her mind and boost her education, but would also uplift, strengthen, and embrace her and her individuality. This current school clearly isn’t the environment for her.

              • guest

                NO school, I don’t care how private it is, has the right to discriminate against anyone. Yes, they can set policies, rules, and dress codes, but they cannot discriminate (although they’ll use every trick in the book to keep trying). There is a difference between policies that say no purple/orange/blue hair and ones that forbid a student from wearing his/her NATURAL hair. And when there are slippery slopes as we apparently seem to have here, the offended party can appeal to the justice system, which is exactly what Vanessa’s parents should do . . . because clearly, natural Black hair is not a “distraction” for me as it apparently is for you.

              • devrie

                She knew the policy: natural and not a distraction (such as a mohawk, shaved design, Etc.)

                Who in their right mind is SHOULD think natural hair is a distraction? Again…her hair distracted nobody. Some kids teased her on her appearance–not an academic distraction.

                Quite simply, they followed the rules.

            • Ellie

              How is this a black vs white thing? She’s mixed. And it has nothing to do with race. It has to do with school rules. Most people go to public schools so they don’t know how private schools work. Would you agree that she can wear her hair like that at a job interview when she’s older? Maybe but not many people will take her with her hair like that. There is nothing wrong with her hair. It is beautiful stylish but on her own time.

              • Laine

                People who wouldn’t accept her for a job because of her hair are ignorant. There is nothing, NOTHING wrong with the way her hair is right now. Are you saying that only straight hair is presentable? Because people with straight hair go for job interviews with their hair lose all the time, but that’s not a problem right?? Step back in your time machine please, and go back to 1913. I can’t believe that there are still people that think like you! Why is her hair not presentable the way it is right now???

                • Sparkle

                  This is clearly a Rosa Parks situation, GO TO THE BACK OF THE BUS! because we’ll be more comfortable with you back there. No one should Have to alter there hair texture or how it flows from their head, black women everywhere are embracing their natural hair, it’s shown through out media, so her choice is not shocking, it’s intimidating because it shows a confidence some would not like for us to have. There is not a rational reasoning here, only a bullying tactic to try and make you feel not beautiful, unacceptable, out of place, in other words same $#!T different day.

              • devrie

                She most certainly can wear her hair like that to an interview, and there’s no reason she shouldn’t be able to.

                AND it IS about race when the message is that if you have black hair, you have to cut it short, braid it, or straighten it, but if you have straight hair, or hair with big natural curls or wavy hair, (white people), you can grow it out and not have to “corral” it.

            • mainstreamisoverrated

              Thank you. It a wonder we ain’t pickin cotton as we type.

            • Real Truths

              She’s not my people. She’s a half-breed; she’s not black. Black = Black mother + Black father.

          • 4C-beautifully

            Black folks always get the raw end of the fine print.

          • Denise Charles

            SHe started in 3 grade, I am sure when she signed up her hair wasn’t that way,her hair is a distraction because her WHite peers are not accustomed to seeing that, I would not change who she is by cutting her hair, however, my children go to public school and a uniform is required, my daughter has long hair also, we do a twist or use rubber band and it does not compromise who she is, it’s part of following the rules.

            • Laine

              But the rules of this school are not that nobody is supposed to wear their hair lose. Only she isn’t allowed to do so, because only her hair (oh my gosh, why would that be..?) is a “distraction”…And that’s not fair !

          • Moxy

            Actually, lets go back into history. Was there not a similar issue with the Little Rock Nine? Only white children could go there, but in order to make a race accepted into society they went on in anyways and challenged. Hence, creating mixed schools and wider acceptance of the African Americans population. She and her parents have grounds just like we did back then. People should respect each others differences. We have the right to challenge.

      • 4C-beautifully

        because you want to force a bun or ponytail on her? ummmm…slavery is over. We no longer have to bow down to what you want …. if that is the case just tie a scarf around her head like Aunt Jemima…that will make a bunch of folks feel better…you know…now that the little colored girl doesn’t find the hair that comes out her own head beautiful anymore.

      • mainstreamisoverrated

        You’re not black and if you are you probably make “coloreds” only signs and put them up,buy Justin Timberlake albums and thinks Michael did it,but loooove Roman P.

    • Laine

      No, because that’s the way her hair grows naturally out of her head. Is the straight hair of the children also a distraction when it’s not in a ponytail? No, right? Natural hair in it’s natural form should NOT be a distraction, the school needs to educate itself…ridiculous!

      • Rissie75

        I agree!!!

      • lo

        can’t agree more! I think that she’s a free person and can do whatever she wants with her hair …

      • enlightenment


      • Rebecca Polius

        She should come to Dallas and go to Townview Magnet Center — one of the best magnet schools in the country.
        THEY’D let her express herself (her grades have to be phenomenal).

    • JB#3

      Yes it would be an issue. The distraction is the behavior of the other children not her hair. Children should learn that not everyone is the same and not everyone is going to make an adjustment because they don’t like something.

      • Rissie75

        #Preach that COMMON sense!!

      • coolyfett

        Hell, we learned that on Sesame Street in the 70s and 80s. kids are different and should be embraced.

    • Lennmesh

      Why should she have to? It’s hair! PERIOD! Hair she was born with.

    • Adrienne Williams

      why should she have too? If she doesn’t want to use ties, which takes the hair out… why shouldn’t she be allowed to keep it lose, like every white person as kids!

    • 4C-beautifully

      Because Black people should aways be tamed with ropes and chains?