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LauraLongLocks
December 10th, 2013, 12:51 AM
http://www.clickorlando.com/news/africanamerican-girl-faces-expulsion-over-natural-hair/-/1637132/23159400/-/ajs6jbz/-/index.html?fb_action_ids=10202727192844469&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=[547338438688943]&action_type_map=[%22og.recommends%22]&action_ref_map=[]

The comments below show the absolute ignorance that so many white people have about black hair. We should flood the school with emails and phone calls.

ETA: Alright, flooding the school may be a moot point now that she isn't going to be expelled from school. Maybe letters of support sent to the news station, to be passed onto the family and this young lady for displaying such self-confidence and for not bowing to pressure would be more useful. If anyone else has any ideas on what might be useful for preventing this sort of discrimination in the future, please share.

biogirl87
December 10th, 2013, 01:37 AM
Laura, I do not know if you noticed the update at the top of the article or not, but the update says that the student will not face expulsion. Not sure what the panic feelings or outrage you are having is about.

RegretsHerCut
December 10th, 2013, 02:50 AM
I think she means that the fact that the girl was facing expulsion is enough to be outraged about :)

monsoonstorm
December 10th, 2013, 03:01 AM
It's a private school, they can make what rules they like (as far as I am aware).

Here in the UK (certainly at my kids school) any hair at shoulder length or longer *MUST* be tied up, and hair accessories must be of a specific colour. In that photo her hair is indeed shoulder length which may be part of the problem. Lice is a big problem in schools, thus the request that children have their hair tied up.

It may seem fairly harsh in the American system where it seems that pretty much anything goes as far as what kids can wear to school, but from a system where uniforms are in place, it seems bog standard to me.

There was a girl in my school who was suspended because she shaved her hair. Rules are there and are part of the school. To be honest, if you don't agree with them then you should choose another school. The girl was facing expulsion because she was refusing to follow the dress code, it has nothing to do with her "natural hair". I would imagine she been warned on numerous occasions and the parents are ignoring the school rules.

Quixii
December 10th, 2013, 03:13 AM
Some of the comments on that article are just so disappointing. :(

florenonite
December 10th, 2013, 03:46 AM
Here in the UK (certainly at my kids school) any hair at shoulder length or longer *MUST* be tied up, and hair accessories must be of a specific colour. In that photo her hair is indeed shoulder length which may be part of the problem. Lice is a big problem in schools, thus the request that children have their hair tied up.


It would be fine if it were a rule for all students, but the impression I got from the article is that the white kids could wear their hair loose but she is told to tie hers up.

monsoonstorm
December 10th, 2013, 03:50 AM
There's nothing in the article that actually mentions race or the standards that the other kids are held to, other than a couple of specific examples.

The story is (as usual with all press) very one sided and written to garner sympathy for a cause.

I very much doubt that it is the entire story.

Sorry if I'm sounding cynical/abrupt, but I very much hate it when simple issues are turned into "race" issues or "religious" issues for the sake of a story and then lynch mobs start causing chaos when there was really no need for it in the first place.

I'd wait for a full story before drawing conclusions about the school and whether or not they should be "flooded with emails and calls". I would imagine that this poor kid is going to be the subject of even more teasing now that this is in the press.

As for the comments, that's hardly the school's fault. Blame society.

LauraLongLocks
December 10th, 2013, 08:39 AM
I think she means that the fact that the girl was facing expulsion is enough to be outraged about :)

Yes, this is enough to be outraged about. I think it's very UN-Christian-like to condemn the type of hair that God gave this young lady. The school HAS changed its mind about expelling her, but to even threaten it in the first place when she came to them about being teased. Blaming the victim for the teasing and bullying? That's just wrong on so many levels.

Kaelee
December 10th, 2013, 08:55 AM
Yes, this is enough to be outraged about. I think it's very UN-Christian-like to condemn the type of hair that God gave this young lady. The school HAS changed its mind about expelling her, but to even threaten it in the first place when she came to them about being teased. Blaming the victim for the teasing and bullying? That's just wrong on so many levels.

It was the status quo when I was in school. I can't count the number of times *I* was threatened with discipline or disciplined for being bullied, or for (God forbid!) standing up for myself or someone else. Then they wonder why kids have so many problems these days. The message they send is "lie down and take it or you will be punished!" and they wonder why bullying is an issue. It makes me sick.

RegretsHerCut
December 10th, 2013, 09:20 AM
Yes, this is enough to be outraged about. I think it's very UN-Christian-like to condemn the type of hair that God gave this young lady. The school HAS changed its mind about expelling her, but to even threaten it in the first place when she came to them about being teased. Blaming the victim for the teasing and bullying? That's just wrong on so many levels.


I know I'm on your side

sumidha
December 10th, 2013, 09:56 AM
Wow, what an awesome, self secure kid! Girls are under such incredible pressure to 'fit in,' it's really wonderful to see someone embracing themselves as they are. :)

swearnsue
December 10th, 2013, 10:13 AM
I think it is racist to say that her natural hair is "distracting". What else will be "distracting" and cause someone to be threatened with expulsion? Breasts?

Sorry Miss but your developing breasts are distracting to the male students and staff. You have a choice...

slyviolet
December 10th, 2013, 10:20 AM
... Sorry if I'm sounding cynical/abrupt, but I very much hate it when simple issues are turned into "race" issues or "religious" issues for the sake of a story and then lynch mobs start causing chaos when there was really no need for it in the first place. ...

Black people's hair in the US is not a "simple issue," unfortunately. The reason that this is getting attention is because this is not an isolated incident regarding singling out kids of color and requiring them to essentially de-racialize their hair. If you did not grow up in the US, I am not sure that you can really understand what it is like to live in this country with such a painful and profound *recent* legacy of deep and protracted racism and violence.

Even reading you using the phrase "lynch mob" in reference to the potential of people defending this girl has some very immediate historical and racial resonance for me -- my family and cultural histories include those, and they were historically *not* in defense of people of color. There is a strong urge in the hearts and minds of many Americans to be *more* mindful about racial inequality and access than might seem appropriate or necessary to a non-American, because of our recent and wounded history. It can feel dismissive or even pro-racist to American allies of POCs when efforts to raise awareness and understanding are dismissed as trivial or unnecessary.

I was also perturbed by your comment that she is going to be subject to "even more teasing now that this is in the press," because that to me had a slight whiff of victim-blaming to it (ie. it felt to me like the implication was, "this shouldn't have been reported upon.") I sincerely hope that I misinterpreted your intent, please correct me if I'm wrong.

It appears that the media attention had some influence in the school's decision-making process, and I am glad. Even if she is no longer in danger of expulsion, she was at one point, simply for having shoulder-length hair that -- *after* she reported bullying about it -- was deemed "distracting" by the administration, and that does seem to me to be discriminatory. It makes me wonder about how many other children of color attend the school, and what the rest of the school environment is like for her/them. In what other instances is this girl being asked to whitewash her expression/appearance in response to subtle or not-so-subtle bullying?

And as for the comments, no, the school can't be held solely at fault for them, but they deserve to be highlighted because they are a strong indicator of the culture that the school exists within, a culture and history which the school would be remiss in ignoring when making these kinds of interventions with children of color.

Kaelee
December 10th, 2013, 10:40 AM
I was also perturbed by your comment that she is going to be subject to "even more teasing now that this is in the press," because that to me had a slight whiff of victim-blaming to it (ie. it felt to me like the implication was, "this shouldn't have been reported upon.") I sincerely hope that I misinterpreted your intent, please correct me if I'm wrong.


I'm not going to comment on the rest, but this bit, I think it was just a statement of (unfortunate) fact. It's not about blaming her at all, but how others tend to react to things like this. She probably WILL BE picked on more now. Not that it's right, but it's probably true.

monsoonstorm
December 10th, 2013, 10:50 AM
Black people's hair in the US is not a "simple issue," unfortunately. The reason that this is getting attention is because this is not an isolated incident regarding singling out kids of color and requiring them to essentially de-racialize their hair. If you did not grow up in the US, I am not sure that you can really understand what it is like to live in this country with such a painful and profound *recent* legacy of deep and protracted racism and violence.

Even reading you using the phrase "lynch mob" in reference to the potential of people defending this girl has some very immediate historical and racial resonance for me -- my family and cultural histories include those, and they were historically *not* in defense of people of color. There is a strong urge in the hearts and minds of many Americans to be *more* mindful about racial inequality and access than might seem appropriate or necessary to a non-American, because of our recent and wounded history. It can feel dismissive or even pro-racist to American allies of POCs when efforts to raise awareness and understanding are dismissed as trivial or unnecessary.

I was also perturbed by your comment that she is going to be subject to "even more teasing now that this is in the press," because that to me had a slight whiff of victim-blaming to it (ie. it felt to me like the implication was, "this shouldn't have been reported upon.") I sincerely hope that I misinterpreted your intent, please correct me if I'm wrong.

It appears that the media attention had some influence in the school's decision-making process, and I am glad. Even if she is no longer in danger of expulsion, she was at one point, simply for having shoulder-length hair that -- *after* she reported bullying about it -- was deemed "distracting" by the administration, and that does seem to me to be discriminatory. It makes me wonder about how many other children of color attend the school, and what the rest of the school environment is like for her/them. In what other instances is this girl being asked to whitewash her expression/appearance in response to subtle or not-so-subtle bullying?

And as for the comments, no, the school can't be held solely at fault for them, but they deserve to be highlighted because they are a strong indicator of the culture that the school exists within, a culture and history which the school would be remiss in ignoring when making these kinds of interventions with children of color.

Firstly if any of my comments seem offensive, I apologize, it wasn't my intention. I am extremely cynical when it comes to the press in general, and even more cynical when it is some parent crying foul over some terrible deed. I have the Daily Mail to blame for that. We had a rash of "issues" here where children were told to remove their necklaces etc and the parents went to the papers screaming discrimination on religious grounds, when the real issue was simply that jewelry was not allowed at all for safety reasons.

I wasn't victim blaming, if anyone is to blame for that it is the girl's parents. If she was already being teased the last thing she needs is MORE attention. How many times have you heard from a child "don't mum, you'll just make it worse" when you go to intervene in something? This mum has gone above and beyond intervening and taken it national. I really feel sorry for the child.

I still reserve judgement until the full story is out. I would like to know the *real* reasoning behind the school's decision. They haven't said *exactly* what the girl was told to do or asked to do. Nor has the mother. The word "distracting" came from a small excerpt from the guidebook, thus it is implied. If they did indeed use that as their reasoning, then yes, there is an issue. But as that article stands, no reason is actually given (unless I am mistaken - need to head out and don't have time to scour it again)

slyviolet
December 10th, 2013, 11:14 AM
Thank you for your clarification, monsoonstorm. I didn't take your comment as offensive, it just felt like it might be coming from a place of geographic and cultural distance that could make it hard to understand why some of us are responding as strongly as we are.

I agree with you that the whole story is not represented here, and it probably never will be... and while I do disagree with you about the cost/benefit analysis of the mother's choice to publicize it, I also am a very involved intersectional (which is to say, anti-oppression as it manifests intersectionally across many different identity types including race, gender, sexuality, size, faith, and more) activist and I believe strongly that visibility and representation are of immense value and are a necessary action in social justice progress. My hope is that this visibility will give her a sense of support rather than overexposure. My deeper and further hope is that the publicity will motivate the school to take anti-racist action so that any further bullying will be more able to be identified and addressed more appropriately and compassionately, and my ultimate pie-in-the-sky hope is that the action would be to counsel and educate the bullies.

I want to thank you again for your comments, and say how this thread has really reminded me of my love of this community, that such a painful and profound cultural issue can be discussed with candor, compassion, curiosity, care, and... other words that also begin with C. Ummm... Cookies!

Kaelee
December 10th, 2013, 11:18 AM
Firstly if any of my comments seem offensive, I apologize, it wasn't my intention. I am extremely cynical when it comes to the press in general, and even more cynical when it is some parent crying foul over some terrible deed. I have the Daily Mail to blame for that. We had a rash of "issues" here where children were told to remove their necklaces etc and the parents went to the papers screaming discrimination on religious grounds, when the real issue was simply that jewelry was not allowed at all for safety reasons.

I wasn't victim blaming, if anyone is to blame for that it is the girl's parents. If she was already being teased the last thing she needs is MORE attention. How many times have you heard from a child "don't mum, you'll just make it worse" when you go to intervene in something? This mum has gone above and beyond intervening and taken it national. I really feel sorry for the child.

I still reserve judgement until the full story is out. I would like to know the *real* reasoning behind the school's decision. They haven't said *exactly* what the girl was told to do or asked to do. Nor has the mother. The word "distracting" came from a small excerpt from the guidebook, thus it is implied. If they did indeed use that as their reasoning, then yes, there is an issue. But as that article stands, no reason is actually given (unless I am mistaken - need to head out and don't have time to scour it again)

I agree with all this and I too think we should reserve judgement until the full story is out. Unfortunately some unscrupulous people will cry "discrimination" just to get away with doing whatever they want. Not all, or even most, individuals within (whatever group is in question) do this, but some do, and they do more harm than good to everyone including themselves because they make it a lot harder for people with legitimate concerns to be taken seriously.

It's entirely possible (and we're not able to tell from the story) that her hairstyle, regardless of her race, was in some violation of the dress code. I see no reason why it could not be tied back or in some way made neater than the picture shows, at least. I'm not saying straighten, perm, make it "white", I'm saying tie it back or make it neat. It's BEAUTIFUL, don't get me wrong, but I can see where the school could have issue with that hairstyle, if there are dress code rules in place regarding hair (and as someone else mentioned, it's shoulder length and long enough that it would fit into the "must be tied back" rules in may dress codes, and the article doesn't give specifics.)

So yea...need more information.

truepeacenik
December 10th, 2013, 11:25 AM
In public school (US, tax funded) I was required to have my hair braided back.
Blonde , brunette and black haired girls were not.
The Black girls we also required to "contain" their hair. Braids were fine.

The reason given was the desk rows and lines of sight.

While I'm bemused as to my my red hair "needed" containing, as my volume was nil, what I see is "you are unacceptably outside the average, and must conform."

lacefrost
December 10th, 2013, 11:34 AM
It may seem fairly harsh in the American system where it seems that pretty much anything goes as far as what kids can wear to school, but from a system where uniforms are in place, it seems bog standard to me.


The problem is not that her hair was against dress code. She'd worn her hair like that for a while without it being problematic. After all, having a huge fro is noticeable and if it were a problem her teachers would have said something within at least the first few days. The problem to me is how it all played out:

1. Student wears hair picked out. Teachers and administration is fine with this.
2. Other students begin to bully her over her hair.
3. Bullying gets reported
4. Admin responds by threatening to expel the student

. . .Yeah. So the problem is two fold. 1. Administration responds to bullying by blaming the victim and punishing the victim, instead of punishing the bullies. (And we know how that messes up society as a whole.) 2. Administration is two-faced. Her hair was fine but now that's she's getting bullied it's an administrative issue? Really?

For 1, there's no excuse. There's really nothing I can say. I mean, they're rewarding the bullies. For 2, if they had said something about her hair as soon as she walked in or within the first week or month, fine. I would totally agree that it's a private school and they're allowed to set whatever (ridiculous) rules they want to set. It's just problematic how they responded.

I guess the thing that annoys me the most is the victim-blaming. I just. . .how can you work in a school, see a child is getting bullied and then blame the victim? And reward the bullies? How is that okay?

wrh452
December 10th, 2013, 12:11 PM
I do think that Americans will be more upset by this, just because there is such a hate for natural hair here. A lot of jobs even consider naturally curly hair, braided hair, or dreaded hair to be unprofessional. It just makes me so mad that people are so upset with the natural human body here.

slyviolet
December 10th, 2013, 12:50 PM
Failure to perform Whiteness is so pervasively penalized in America -- and this mandates the way one speaks, dresses, grooms. Institutions target ethnic expression and reward/require "non-distracting" presentation for children of color, "professionalism" for adults, both of which tend to code as "try not to appear non-White."

LauraLongLocks
December 10th, 2013, 03:45 PM
I'm a naive idealist, so I failed to consider that bullying is permissible as long as the bully's parents pay full tuition. It could be a matter of the bullying kids' [most likely white] parents paying large sums of money to the private school.

alexis917
December 10th, 2013, 03:58 PM
As she isn't going to be expelled, I feel like at this point, "flooding" the school with letters is just going to cause administrators to be less sympathetic with her.
I understand this is unfortunate, and it's awful that the "bullies" are being sympathized with. But, I also feel like the entire story isn't being told here.
ETA: ...her hair might be distracting if she sits in the front of the class, but I can't think of much else.

MandyBeth
December 10th, 2013, 04:22 PM
I do send my kids to private school, and those with hair that falls into their face or longer are required to hold their hair back. Which I fully support, as hair that's loose and in the way can easily get tangled or caught on many items and can be a very serious hazard. It wasn't that long ago when a college student was killed by her hair becoming trapped.

But, I don't see the school's side. So I'm getting one side. And the general rule is there's her side, their side and then there's the truth.

However - this is a private school. Most of the hair issue cases involve private schools. Furthermore, in this case, it appears to be a religious private school. Which mean federal statutes don't fully apply, due to separation of church and state. A private school can make whatever rules they like, and short of grievous violations, there's not much to be done. Parents and students opt to sign up for those rules, it is not automatically granted. I don't get agreeing to the rules (which will very likely back the school) then whining publicly when you don't get your way.

LauraLongLocks
December 10th, 2013, 04:23 PM
Classrooms can be arranged so that taller kids and kids with naturally big hair won't block the view of other kids.

MandyBeth
December 10th, 2013, 04:25 PM
As for distractions - it's a bunch of Ļ1-13 year old children most likely. Every fracking thing is a distraction then. I live with three in that range currently.

MandyBeth
December 10th, 2013, 04:31 PM
Classrooms can be arranged so that taller kids and kids with naturally big hair won't block the view of other kids.
Which is then called segregation. Child is forced to sit in a potentially less desirable seat due to her natural hair. Guarantee that'd be cause for a media riot.

biogirl87
December 10th, 2013, 04:39 PM
Classrooms can be arranged so that taller kids and kids with naturally big hair won't block the view of other kids.Laura, with all respect, your idea would not work if the students who are taller or the students whose hair is just naturally big have eyesight that is not as good as that of the shorter (in height) classmates and who have to sit in the front of the class. For a female, I remember when I was in my early high school years, I was fairly tall (to the point where at that time I was scared I would be taller than my dad) and I also had eyesight that required me to be wearing glasses in school. Because of these two things (I also learned better when I sat in the front of the class, but that's another story), I almost felt I needed to sit in the front and after we stopped having seating charts, the teachers as well as the other students were fine with me sitting in the few two rows of the classroom.

LauraLongLocks
December 10th, 2013, 05:45 PM
I didn't say that tall and big hair kids would need to sit in the back. I'm on the short side of average and it never failed, I always got put behind a tall person in seating charts. Chairs don't have to be in ROWS and COLUMNS at all!

Now, if hair must be kept away from the face so it won't fall into the face, as a rule, then all those with longer hair, of any race, should be required to braid or contain their hair, not just black girls.

MandyBeth
December 10th, 2013, 06:23 PM
My children do all have either short hair or wear their hair back. My youngest, who has vast amounts of long very curly hair, wears a coronet braid daily so her hair is out of the way, doesn't pull and it is kept safe for her to keep her long rockstar princess curls. My oldest French braids his APL hair most days, otherwise it's in a messy top knot. We run from a looped up pony tail, to braids, to buns. Or just short because curls are too girly yet.

The issue isn't where a child is seated - requirement to sit somewhere to limit natural hair as a distraction is going to get called racist. Guaranteed. It's segregation.

Granted, I really, really, really want to use some deep conditioner on the kid because her hair is long, but looks dry and disordered from curls being disordered. My youngest had hair rather similar to that when she first joined the family - she's still go the massive curl volume, but it's not so dried out and stressed looking. Kid can get more volume fairly easily, tho it's a bit of a nightmare to detangle then.

She is biracial, but I can't say how much it matters at her school as it's all hair back.

heidi w.
December 10th, 2013, 08:01 PM
I can't see the link.
heidi w.

heidi w.
December 10th, 2013, 08:10 PM
OK, I finally saw the link. What stupidity on the part of the school. It's her natural hair. In a world worried about how people look, this girl is brave to say, This is Me. I applaud her, and I think the school should too AND should tell the kids to leave her alone about her hair.
heidi w.

PurplePenguin
December 10th, 2013, 08:30 PM
I think the girl is very brave to stand up for herself. I also think that all of those very ignorant people who posted comments on the article that was linked give me no hope for humanity, at all. There were a few glimmers of hope in the comments, but not very many. I mostly read the comments with tears in my eyes and a large wish in my heart to comment back to every one of them that they were very big meany heads.

koolkittychick
December 11th, 2013, 04:17 AM
What distresses me most about this story is the fact that it is not the only one in recent months, just the latest one. There was another story earlier in the year where a little 7-year-old was actually suspended from her public charter school for wearing dreadlocks (the backlash from that forced the school to change its dress code policy), and another story where an 8-year-old biracial girl was allowed by her white parents to get blonde and pink extensions sewn into her naturally kinky blonde hair. Her predominantly white classmates proceeded to try to rip the extensions off her head, causing so much damage that she will likely not be able to grow hair in her crown area again. The school didn't intervene at all to stop the bullying (which went on for two weeks) that caused the damage to this poor girl's hair. :( It seems to me that even in this day and age, whether you are trying to be yourself or conform to a certain society's standard of beauty, it is getting more common to blame and punish the victim, especially if she is a "distracting" person of color. :(

LauraLongLocks
December 11th, 2013, 07:58 AM
What distresses me most about this story is the fact that it is not the only one in recent months, just the latest one. There was another story earlier in the year where a little 7-year-old was actually suspended from her public charter school for wearing dreadlocks (the backlash from that forced the school to change its dress code policy), and another story where an 8-year-old biracial girl was allowed by her white parents to get blonde and pink extensions sewn into her naturally kinky blonde hair. Her predominantly white classmates proceeded to try to rip the extensions off her head, causing so much damage that she will likely not be able to grow hair in her crown area again. The school didn't intervene at all to stop the bullying (which went on for two weeks) that caused the damage to this poor girl's hair. :( It seems to me that even in this day and age, whether you are trying to be yourself or conform to a certain society's standard of beauty, it is getting more common to blame and punish the victim, especially if she is a "distracting" person of color. :(

OMGosh, why aren't schools standing up for these children? This breaks my heart.

Kaelee
December 11th, 2013, 09:36 AM
OMGosh, why aren't schools standing up for these children? This breaks my heart.

Because they're afraid of being sued by the bully's parents? That's the only thing I can think of. This country has gone completely mad.

MandyBeth
December 11th, 2013, 10:45 AM
The extension case - there was some punishments handed out once the school knew about what happened. Apparently, the child didn't say anything to anyone, it wasn't noticed until the grandmother/guardian was undoing the weave extensions. At which point, the report was made, and punishment was dealt with.

Now, why a teacher or para didn't notice is an issue, but the kid needed to speak up at least to her guardians sooner also.

HintOfMint
December 11th, 2013, 11:12 AM
Slightly off the race issue, more to schools in general, tons of teachers don't give a damn about bullied kids. Tons of bullies are actually well-liked, popular and intelligent kids with good grades and when a bullied kid isn't up to snuff in those respects, teachers straight up refuse to sympathize with the bullied kid and put a stop to it. I was a good student for most of my life, but there was a period of time in middle school when I wasn't. And that was when I was bullied the hardest. Teachers adored the boy who was bullying me and when they saw me crying over what he said or did to me, they would get so exasperated and would tell me to stop crying and physically shake me.

I'm still mad at myself for not punching him in the face and not telling my homeroom teacher to go eff herself.

tigereye
December 11th, 2013, 11:22 AM
I think I must be missing something, but I don't get it. Unless everyone's hair has to be short or up, why one girl? But then, I don't see the schools POV. Maybe there is a part we're not shown where everybody does have to wear their hair up and tidy. How would we know? :shrug: but from this single-sided view, yes, it does seem wrong.
Then again, I also don't get the american system of wearing what you want to school. But I was brought up in a system with fairly strict uniform rules (friend almost got sent home for wearing a black shirt because the rules stated white). There, people were frequently picked up on staff for a) jewellery and b) hair - mostly in all the science subjects, physical education (gym/PE) , home economics, art and design, and tech. ed (or all the subjects under those umbrellas at least). So almost half the subjects in the school.
Like was said earlier, there was a ****storm when the jewellery and hair things went out. But in reality, it was about safety. No jewellery in PE, for obvious reasons - noone wants to have their finger broken or the ear torn because of some ring or earring getting caught on a trampoline or something (someone actually did rip their ear off somewhere in the country - thats why the no-jewellery rule was brought in). Hair is to be up and tidy for the sciences for obvious reasons. A flaming bunsen is dangerous enough to a swinging ponytail, never mind completely loose hair. Same goes for Tech ed., where theres multiple wood-working or metal-working machines going at 1000rpm. You do not want hair caught in that. And it goes on and on. I almost wonder why they didn't just make everyone wear their hair up all the time - probably because of the ****storm that would fly from it being a state-school.

Really though, these were all rules for the whole school. If hair is an issue in a school, the administrators really have to either have everyone do the same (i.e up in a ponytail or braid or something like that) or just leave the issue be. This, though we only get one side, seems like a classic case of victim-blaming if the constraints she was being held under was not upheld over the rest of the class/year.

truepeacenik
December 11th, 2013, 11:24 AM
Classrooms can be arranged so that taller kids and kids with naturally big hair won't block the view of other kids.

And countdown to someone connecting big/African-American hair and the back of the bus....

See the complexity of the issue? What if the student can no longer see the board, even with glasses? What happens when the bullying goes on in the back of the room?

I have guest lectured in elementary schools, meaning I came to be grilled by kids over some topic, and in small classrooms, they do use U patterns for tables or desks.
But many rooms are too crowded for that.

MandyBeth
December 11th, 2013, 11:24 AM
The starting school has a fairly (extremely) strict dress code actually.

tigereye
December 11th, 2013, 11:32 AM
Slightly off the race issue, more to schools in general, tons of teachers don't give a damn about bullied kids. Tons of bullies are actually well-liked, popular and intelligent kids with good grades and when a bullied kid isn't up to snuff in those respects, teachers straight up refuse to sympathize with the bullied kid and put a stop to it. I was a good student for most of my life, but there was a period of time in middle school when I wasn't. And that was when I was bullied the hardest. Teachers adored the boy who was bullying me and when they saw me crying over what he said or did to me, they would get so exasperated and would tell me to stop crying and physically shake me.

I'm still mad at myself for not punching him in the face and not telling my homeroom teacher to go eff herself.

My brother had a similar issue, but with a guy who rode on his bus. He found academia really hard, while the other guy had great grades. The bus-driver had tried to stop it a few times, throwing the guy off the bus, but got in trouble from the parents and school (though technically, it was in the drivers contract that he could throw off problematic passengers) One day, when my mum came to pick me up from the school (I had a doctors appointment) and my brother was making his way to the bus, when the other guy bumped into him. Mum turned the car just in time to see my brother absolutely whack the guy with his tennis racket, and jump into mums car. Mum just locked the doors and drove off, leaving that boy in the dust. Since the whole thing happened outside the school, and the bus-driver was a witness (and thankfully on my brothers side having seen everything so far and less enamoured by fancy grades), there wasn't jack the teachers or parents could do about it (regardless of the attempts to get the police involved - they believed the witness bus-driver rather than the parents who were two hours away at the time).
Funny thing was, a year down the line, that other guy got into drugs and never came to school, his grades plummetted and he got expelled. Seems his teachers weren't so keen on him anymore.

LauraLongLocks
December 11th, 2013, 11:52 AM
And countdown to someone connecting big/African-American hair and the back of the bus....

See the complexity of the issue? What if the student can no longer see the board, even with glasses? What happens when the bullying goes on in the back of the room?

I have guest lectured in elementary schools, meaning I came to be grilled by kids over some topic, and in small classrooms, they do use U patterns for tables or desks.
But many rooms are too crowded for that.

Again, I stated it before, but maybe you didn't see it. Classrooms don't have to be situated in rows and columns at all. I wasn't suggesting that tall and big hair kids get moved to the back. I know classrooms are crowded, and desks take up a lot of space. There are no perfect answers. I was merely trying to answer to the possibility that her hair was getting in the way of other kids' view. As I said before, I am on the short side of average, and it never failed, I almost always got put behind someone taller than me, or with big 80's style hair, and I struggled to see. That's just a fact of brick-and-mortar education. My kids are educated on couches, bean bag chairs, the kitchen table, under the shade of our trees, in the barn, and a host of other places. The only time they are in a "class room" is at church.

chen bao jun
December 11th, 2013, 02:16 PM
I will not jump to conclusions on the basis of that article. That article tells me nothing. In fact, it contradicts itself. The headline and the beginning says that the girl was told to cut her hair. The last sentence had the school saying something quite different.
Just as much as there are racist people who don't like black hairstyles (most of those I have personally met are other blacks) there is a prejudice in the US in some quarters against anything like a uniform, or a dress code of any kind. There is also a prejudice against Christian schools, frankly. The school could be be being prejudiced against the young lady--and on the other hand, people could be jumping on the 'any rules are oppressive' bandwagon and I have no idea which it is.
The young lady is beautiful and has lovely hair, but this is not the point, necessarily. There are many situations in which that amount of hair, in any hairtype, white, black, East Asian or whatever, might be considered to be better contained in something like a braid or bun. (i'm thinking, for instance of the military). A person sends their kids to Christian school for certain reasons, frankly. It's a little odd, therefore, to try to change the culture of them, when you wanted your child in there (presumably) because of the particular culture and discipline.
After all, there are still free public schools (which is where I sent my kids). So its not as if there is no option.
But just repeating, I am not making any judgments because I do not know what went down.

koolkittychick
December 11th, 2013, 06:07 PM
I will not jump to conclusions on the basis of that article. That article tells me nothing. In fact, it contradicts itself. The headline and the beginning says that the girl was told to cut her hair. The last sentence had the school saying something quite different.
Just as much as there are racist people who don't like black hairstyles (most of those I have personally met are other blacks) there is a prejudice in the US in some quarters against anything like a uniform, or a dress code of any kind. There is also a prejudice against Christian schools, frankly. The school could be be being prejudiced against the young lady--and on the other hand, people could be jumping on the 'any rules are oppressive' bandwagon and I have no idea which it is.
The young lady is beautiful and has lovely hair, but this is not the point, necessarily. There are many situations in which that amount of hair, in any hairtype, white, black, East Asian or whatever, might be considered to be better contained in something like a braid or bun. (i'm thinking, for instance of the military). A person sends their kids to Christian school for certain reasons, frankly. It's a little odd, therefore, to try to change the culture of them, when you wanted your child in there (presumably) because of the particular culture and discipline.
After all, there are still free public schools (which is where I sent my kids). So its not as if there is no option.
But just repeating, I am not making any judgments because I do not know what went down.

According to the parents, the young lady has been going to school with that hairstyle since the beginning of the year. No one from the school said anything until her parents came in to complain that she was being bullied by her classmates, who are 90% white by school population. The parents received an email from the school's pastor, Karl Stevens, after the complaint stating that the girl cut or restyle her hair:


Iím going to strongly encourage you to consider the schoolís request, and at least shape or have her hair cut. That, i believe, will resolve the issue.

Once the story went viral and the school started catching heat over it, they dialed back their ultimatum and requested that she start tying her hair back, even though there is nothing in their dress code saying frizzy, big hair is not allowed.

Seems to me this was a case of a school trying to intimidate a minority student, and underestimating a family's gumption to tell their story to the public, and how that public would react to the school's attempt at said bullying. :rolleyes:

Symphony
December 11th, 2013, 06:26 PM
It's sad that this even happened. I could understand that if maybe there was a code saying if your hair was X long then you have to tie it back or something, but this does seem like an ignorance issue in regards to ethnicity and genetics. That family has every right to be pissed. No to mention the victim blaming. I'm proud of the girl and her mother for standing up against the school.

chen bao jun
December 11th, 2013, 08:39 PM
I'm sorry, koolkittychick, I did not make myself clear. If the story goes as the article implies, of course the girl and parents are right. However, as you state, the whole article is 'according to the parents'. I had kids go to school and volunteered a whole lot in the public schools around where I lived for twenty-odd years and I saw a lot of things and 'according to the parents' doesn't convince me of anything. I also am highly suspicious of newspaper reporting nowadays. When they think a story is exciting or when it goes according to a narrative that they like, all too often I have seen the press rush to judgment, or ignore or even suppress facts that dont' fit the story they are trying to put across. I just am not going to make up my mind about this on the basis of that one article and assume that the girl is right. I actually do not think I know anything about the story yet. So I am not going to assume that this young lady is right and the school is wrong--yet.
I have had my own experiences with bullies and my own experiences with racism, but I don't think they have anything to do with the fact that I don't know anything except a small amount of information from one side about this particular story. I don/t know if that makes sense, but this is the only way I know how to operate in order to be fair.

Unicorn
December 18th, 2013, 08:41 AM
From reading the article a little while ago, I had zero sympathy for this girl. My hair was much like her's when I was at school. I wore it tied back because it would indeed be to distracting for a school enviroment, as it was when I wore it loose on none school days. I'm afraid this little drama trivializes the real cases of discrimination based on natural type 4 hair.


Unicorn

Kaelee
December 18th, 2013, 08:49 AM
From reading the article a little while ago, I had zero sympathy for this girl. My hair was much like her's when I was at school. I wore it tied back because it would indeed be to distracting for a school enviroment, as it was when I wore it loose on none school days. I'm afraid this little drama trivializes the real cases of discrimination based on natural type 4 hair.


Unicorn

Those were pretty much my thoughts...her hair looked like it was styled after a famous singer...Whitney Houston maybe? I've seen that style before somewhere. Beautiful, but I'm sure it was styled that way.

ETA: And I don't mean the texture, I mean the side part with giant flower, and MAYBE the texture, though I'm aware hair just grows that way on some people.

MandyBeth
December 18th, 2013, 09:50 AM
DD wanted to know why she'd want to wear her hair loose at school, everyone is going to mess with it then! Kid HATES wearing even just a braid because someone is bound to mess with her very curly tassle.

Joyce_Alison
January 14th, 2014, 07:56 PM
My understanding from reading the article is that the girl was being teased for her natural hair... the texture, thickness & volume of it... Instead of disciplining the children who were being a disruption to the learning environment (bullying the girl, not paying attention in class, stirring up drama, etc.)... the school decided to engage in some old-fashioned victim blaming. "If she didn't want to be bullied, then she should style her hair differently."
They shouldn't be able to make up any rules they please. There MUST be limits. The way they applied their rules in this case was RACIST. It is racist to have standards of beauty defined by traits common to white people. It is racist to expect and demand others to conform to these standards. It is racist to say that someone's natural ethnic appearance is unacceptable.

BlueMajorelle
January 14th, 2014, 08:05 PM
WHAAAT!? What's wrong with her hair? She's a beautiful little girl. As a teacher, I think of DOZENS of behaviors students exhibit that are far more distracting than hair and those behaviors don't warrant being expelled. Sounds like the other kids' mean behavior is the distraction, but it's easier to suspend one student than several. >:(

LauraLongLocks
January 14th, 2014, 09:21 PM
My understanding from reading the article is that the girl was being teased for her natural hair... the texture, thickness & volume of it... Instead of disciplining the children who were being a disruption to the learning environment (bullying the girl, not paying attention in class, stirring up drama, etc.)... the school decided to engage in some old-fashioned victim blaming. "If she didn't want to be bullied, then she should style her hair differently."
They shouldn't be able to make up any rules they please. There MUST be limits. The way they applied their rules in this case was RACIST. It is racist to have standards of beauty defined by traits common to white people. It is racist to expect and demand others to conform to these standards. It is racist to say that someone's natural ethnic appearance is unacceptable.

I feel the same way