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Here We Go Again: Another School Bans Natural Hair

vanessa vandyke

What's going on at these schools? Another little black girl has been told by her school that her hair is unacceptable.Twelve-year-old Vanessa VanDyke has just been told that she has a week to cut her big Afro or get kicked out of Orlando's Faith Christian Academy, the school she's gone to since the third grade. Vanessa and her mom Sabrina Kent say they're standing by their decision not to change the girl's hair. She told Orlando 6, "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." That's exactly what drew attention to her hair in the first place; the girl said students were teasing her about her hair. Once she brought it to the attention of her school, administrators started pressuring her to cut it. Just as we saw earlier this year, the school decided Vanessa's hair went against the student handbook. The handbook says, "hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction" and gives mohawks and rat tails as examples of distracting styles. Penalizing Vanessa for her classmates' foolishness is not right. The people that need to be facing consequences are the students who think it's okay to make fun of a girl because her hair's texture is different than theirs. All anyone can talk about these days is bullying and making sure kids who are victims feel safe. So why did this school not take chance to take a stand? They must know they look ridiculous just now saying her hair is unacceptable when she's been wearing her hair out and big with adorable flowers from the very beginning of the year. They should be ashamed of themselves. Vanessa and her parents are going to fight to keep her in school, but right now, this little girl (who gets good grades and plays the violin) could very well be expelled for something stupid and bigoted. Have you or your child felt pressured to change your hair?

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