A little girl in Tulsa, Oklahoma had to switch school after being told that she dreads were not “presentable” according to KOKI-TV, a local news affiliate. Terrence Parker, father of 7 year old Tiana Parker did not agree. “She’s always presentable. I take pride in my kids looking nice,” Terrence said.
The Deborah Brown Community School’s dress code specifically states that “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable.” According to the new affiliate, the school feels that the locks will “distract from the respectful and serious atmosphere it strives for.” They issued this statement to The Huffington Post via email, “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.”
There are two ways to look at this story. On one hand, it’s unfortunate that they would consider locks unacceptable. In a society that is seemingly moving in a more progressive direction, it’s disheartening that a child would be essentially forced out of her school because she rocks locks. Not to mention that at seven years old, her hairstyle is hardly her decision. I know many people who choose to wear dreads and the fact that the school calls it a “faddish hairstyle” would be offensive within itself. Dreads are a natural way that many black men and women wear their hair and why should anyone of US have to conform because someone else doesn’t accept or agree with them?
Now on the other hand, the school had this issue outlined clearly in the handbook and Terrence still chose to enroll his daughter there. Although I don’t agree with this policy, it kind of seems like Tiana’s dad did when he allowed her to attend a school with such a rule.
Many are calling this rule racist. What do you think?