Tiana Parker, 7, Switches Schools After Being Forbidden From Wearing Dreads (Participation)

From – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/05/tiana-parker-dreads_n_3873868.html

A young girl has switched schools after she was told that she would not be allowed to sport her hairstyle of choice.

According to 7-year-old Tiana Parker and father Terrence Parker, Deborah Brown Community School in Tulsa, Oklahoma gave Tiana a hard time and sent her home for sporting dreadlocks. School officials told Terrence that her hairstyle did not look “presentable,” according to local outlet KOKI-TV.

“She’s always presentable. I take pride in my kids looking nice,” Terrence, who is a barber, to the outlet.

However, the school felt that Tiana’s hairstyle could “distract from the respectful and serious atmosphere it strives for,” according to KOKI-TV. A representative of the school told The Huffington Post over e-mail that, “The parent of the student in question elected to choose a forbidden hairstyle which is detailed in the school policy. The parent was asked to change the hairstyle, however on Friday, August 30th, the parent choose to dis-enroll her child from our program.”

Indeed, the charter school’s dress code specifically says “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable.”

Commentors have been speaking out against the policy on the school’s Facebook page, as some accuse it of being racist. A post from the school yesterday –- which is unrelated to the incident –- has amassed over 275 comments related to Tiana.

“They can have a weave. ie, white people hair styles. Meaning, your child must go through painful and expensive hair alterations….rather than natural options…like an afro or dreads. Disgusting,” wrote commentor Rosemary Michelle Malign.

This is not the first time a school has come under fire for banning certain hairstyles. In June an Ohio school received criticism for banning students from wearing “afro-puffs and small twisted braids.” Amid a public outcry, however, the school ultimately apologized and revoked the policy.

This post has been updated to include a statement from Deborah Brown Community School.http://www.fox23.com/news/local/story/Tulsa-school-sends-girl-home-over-hair/sGcEwBSrm02W8ZSBNnGoXQ.cspx

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3 thoughts on “Tiana Parker, 7, Switches Schools After Being Forbidden From Wearing Dreads (Participation)

  1. These are the types of occurrences that prove that racism is still a huge issue. Not allowing particularly hair styles that may be more common in a particular race and claiming that they are “not presentable” is ridiculous to me. People should have the right to wear what they choose. To deem this type of hair style as inappropriate is very out of line and extremely offensive. Occurrences like these are far to common and prove how far away we are from racisms and prejudices not being an issue within society.

  2. I believe this is a direct example of why and how racism is still alive in our world today, and is more severe than people ultimately think. Saying that hairstyles such as afros, dreads, and other unique hairstyles are deteriorating the seriousness of the school program is absolutely outrageous. When it comes down to it, it doesnt matter what a child looks like hair wise, it only manners how they present themselves in the classroom by working hard and working to not only better themselves but those around them. I find it disturbing that they seem to care more on the overall appearence of the students rather than the results of the students, which ultimately deteriorates from the overall purpose of the school itself.

  3. It is a shame to see some schools, especially a school where young children attend, not allowing hairstyles such as “afros, and dreadlocks” which are natural and main styles of African Americans. Saying that such hairstyles distract from the respect and seriousness of the institution shows how discrimination of certain races is still present. Allowing the students to have weaves, fake hair that looks straight, but not allowing those students to wear their hair naturally is absurd. It is also a shame the school officials had the rule in the first place and only revoked their policy after media attention and outrage of the public. Rules, like the hairstyle one, that are targeted at a certain group of individuals should be looked at and eliminated before they become a public issue. It is only fair students can be judged on their character and work ethic in class rather than their hair. It goes to show how far society still has yet to go to eliminate discrimination and racism.

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