Black Students Deprived Of Prom Because Of Hairstyle

Mass. Charter School punishes Black students wearing braids.

Black students at a Malden charter school who choose to wear their hair in braids should be prepared for detention and suspension. School administrators are absolutely sure the hairstyles violate the school’s dress code.

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“They teach them at a very high academic level and I appreciate that, and that’s why they go to the school,” Coleen Cook, a mother of two,  said. “But unfortunately, they don’t have any sensitivity to diversity at all.”

“They marched black and biracial children down the hall” and inspected their hair, Cook added.

“This is not right, and you have to take a stand for your children,” another mother said. “I don’t want my daughter and son [to] think they aren’t good enough.”

School officials have a different opinion.

“One important reason for our students’ success is that we purposefully promote equity by focusing on what unites our students and reducing visible gaps between those of different means,” the school said in a statement. “Our policies, including those governing student appearance and attire, foster a culture that emphasises education rather than style, fashion, or materialism. Our policy on hair extensions, which tend to be very expensive, is consistent with, and a part of, the educational environment that we believe is so important to our students’ success.”

But somehow the policy works only for Black students.

“It’s discrimination,” one more parent claimed. “I see white kids with colored hair, and you are not supposed to color your hair, and they walk around like it’s nothing.” 

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“My daughter is a good student. Never gets in trouble,” Namuddu said. “Lauren was having difficulty in mathematics, but they should be helping her out instead of putting her in detention.”

 

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