Students at the Lorain, Ohio location of Horizon Science Academy are free to wear their hair however they want, thanks to outcry from parents and the general public. Last week, a letter about a changes in dress code specifically prohibited Afro puffs and “small twisted braids”, angering parents. Many called the mention of these hairstyles, typically worn by black children, racist. According to recent figures, the school’s student population is 26 percent black.
AOL’s Black Voices reports the school’s administration circulated a letter of apology to parents on Saturday, saying it hadn’t meant to black students of the K through grade 10 school. The letter also indicated the ban on Afro puffs and braids would not be included in the upcoming year’s dress code. James Knight of the school’s advisory board told the Huffington Post that the policy was directed specifically at male students.
It’s great the school apologized, but I don’t know if they necessarily needed to lift the ban. Perhaps if they made the reasoning clear–we don’t want male students wearing their hair that long; we want something more conservative–then more parents would be comfortable with it. It’s expected that kids at a charter school will have to follow a more rigorous dress code than their friends at public school and dress codes can conceivably extend to hair.
Did Horizon need to completely retract the hair part of its dress code?