Teacher Takes Creative Approach To Stopping Students From Bullying Classmate Over Her Natural Hair

April 10, 2016  |  



Natural hair has been making a lot of headlines lately, but mostly for all the wrong reasons. Either a young girl is getting expelled from school for embracing her afro puffs or a young lady/woman is being chastised for proudly rocking her natural curl pattern in the workplace and being labeled as “unprofessional.” The list literally could go on, but recently an inspiring story about a young girl’s journey to embracing natural hair has caught our attention for all the rights reasons.

Alexondra Purnomo, a first grade teacher in Rome, Italy, noticed students at her predominately Italian school were bullying and teasing a new student. Why? Sasha, Purnomo’s new student happened to be the only African-American girl in her classroom. When the young girl showed up to class without her usually hairstyle of braids the teasing comments by classmates poured in.

The Sasha BunMy school is predominately Italian kids. Probably more than 95%. I have a new(er) student who is black in…

Posted by Alexondra Purnomo on Thursday, April 7, 2016

“Some of the kids made fun of her for her short hair, so she started wearing a hat to school and refused to take it off,” Purnomo wrote on Facebook. Sasha then began to wear a winter hat and refused to take it off. Purnomo and another teacher decided to use this situation as a lesson about racial differences, and show that no matter if you’re “short, tall, light skinned, dark skinned, blond, brunette, with or without glasses, boy, girl, braid, bun, sneakers, shoes… ” you are uniquely special.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Photo Credit: Facebook

After their talk, Sasha took off her hat and revealed a small bun on the top of her head. Purnomo and the other teacher decided to wear their hair in topknots, too, and called it the “Sasha Bun,” to make her feel more at ease and comfortable. “Then one by one, all of the girls (and boys! 😂) wanted their hair in a “Sasha bun.” We were able to come together as a class and bring a smile to Sasha’s face after a long, tough week. It gave me chills to see 19 kids come together to help one fellow student.”

Pop Sugar  shared an update on Sasha, reporting that she did return to school rocking the infamous winter hat. But, classmates “cheered her on saying, “Ma Sasha, sei bella,” (“But Sasha, you’re beautiful!”), she removed it and showed off her hair the rest of the day.” Not to mention, girls in her class are still sporting their Sasha buns.


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