Oklahoma Charter School Bans Locs And Afros And Sends Little Girl Home Because Of Her Dreads
It was just a few months ago that a charter school in Ohio tried to ban “afro-puffs and small twisted braids.” After a major outcry from not only parents of students from that school, but from folks across the country, the school’s administration sent out a letter of apology to parents and said that the ban wouldn’t be included in the final rule book.
But as the new school year starts, another school, this time in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is trying to enforce a similar ban. In Deborah Brown Community School’s dress code, it says that “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable.”
That’s right. They called locs and afros faddish, ya’ll. And a 7-year-old student at the school named Tiana found out firsthand that they were not playing with the dress code this new school year when school officials told her father that her hair didn’t look “presentable” and tried to send her home.
Terrance Parker, her father and a barber in Tulsa, says in an interview with a Fox affiliate there that she went to the school last year and they had no problems with her hair then. He also wanted to make it clear that from head to toe, he never lets his daughter look anything but presentable. “She’s always presentable. I take pride in my kids looking nice.”
According to the Fox affiliate, an administrator at the school told them off-camera that Parker knew what to expect and that her hair wasn’t acceptable. They feel that such “faddish” hairstyles would distract from the “respectful and serious” atmosphere the school is trying to have. Parker says the school hassled him so much about Tiana’s hair that he decided to pull the straight-A student out of Deborah Brown. She has already started going to a new school where no one has a problem with her hair, but when it comes to how she feels about her old school’s choice to ban her hairstyle, a tearful Tiana told the Fox affiliate, “I think that they should let me have my dreads.”
Of course, charter schools go by a whole different set of rules and ways of doing things, but unfortunately, they left Tiana’s family with no choice but to take her, and her locs, elsewhere. Check out the family’s interview with Fox 23 below.