7 Year Old Switches Schools Over Dreadlocks
For most kids, back to school means a time to see their friends and show off their back to school style. But for 7 year old Tiana Parker, it meant tears and embarrassment.
The parents of 7 year old Tiana Parker have pulled her from school, after being told she couldn't keep her hairstyle. The elementary student tried to fight back tears as she cried to the cameras that the school "didn't like my dreads". Her father, Terrence, who is a barber, told reporters it crushed him to hear that his child "didn't look presentable." He stated that he took pride in his children looking nice, and that last year her hair was the exact same way and it wasn't an issue.
I'm not going to lie, when I watched this report, I was furious! It's easy to tell by the video that Tiana's hair is not distracting in any way. As someone who has spent a whole lot of time in elementary schools, Tiana's hair was no different than hundreds of other little girls across America. After reports surfaced, many have called the school's dress code out as being racist. It's not hard to see why. The student handbook reads:
"Hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros and other faddish styles are unacceptable. For safety reasons, girls' weaved hair should be no longer than shoulder length. Boy's hair is to be short and neatly trimmed."
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like the "forbidden, faddish" styles are targeting students wearing natural hair. Are we telling little girls that wearing their hair without weave or braids is considered "not presentable"? Because I take serious issue with that. As someone who has extremely curly hair, I developed a serious hair complex when I was in elementary school, because my hair wasn't like everyone elses. As soon as ceramic straighteners were invented, I began straightening my hair every day, a ritual I still do to this day. And why? Because I was groomed by society to believe that curly haired girls weren't pretty like straight haired girls were. If we tell little girls like Tiana that wearing their hair in a natural way isn't presentable, we are giving them an inferiority complex about themselves that far outlasts the school year.
Luckily for Tiana, her parents have enrolled her in a new school, where she is more than welcome to wear her hair the way she wants without reprimand from the administration.
Tell me what you think about the school's decision. Tweet me, @DaniOnB106!