This Girl’s School Said Her Locks Were Unacceptable

September 5, 2013  |  
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It’s no question hair is a loaded subject for black people. Getting our kids to love the hair that comes out of their heads can be tough when they get plenty of societal messages that the way they are isn’t okay. That’s why it’s especially painful to see 7-year-old Tiana Parker in tears because her school told her and her parents her dreadlocks were unacceptable and would “distract from the respectful and serious atmosphere it strives for.”

Long before Tiana’s dad removed her from Deborah Brown Community School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, parents took to the school’s Facebook page to protest the limiting, some say racist, school dress code which bans “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles”. People have been wearing dreadlocks for centuries, so they can hardly be considered faddish; and the ban on afros singles out black students. Tiana happily attended the school without incident last year, so dad Terrence Parker said he’s especially shocked and hurt that he was so pressured to change his daughter’s hair. The video shows neat, well-maintained locks accessorized with an adorable bow; how is that distracting? But Tiana says she likes her dreads and we hope she keeps right on liking them, despite what those meanies at school said.

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