Being a kid is tough, especially if you were a shrimpy, unathletic, and had a faint unibrow like yours truly. You don’t have to tell me how delicate little elementary school feelings are, my heart was the tenderest. In fourth grade, I came home crying after school because a bitchy teacher split us into project teams gym class style and I was grouped last with all of the other “unpicked” kids. One time, that same teacher pointed to my velvet leopard pants, condescendingly laughed, and asked the pretty girl in my class what she thought of them. On another occasion, she didn’t let me take the class chinchilla home for a weekend like all the other kids because I hadn’t “earned” the right to yet. Oh yeah, FUCK YOU Miss Nunneley.
Oh well, at least I was able to grow a unibrow and wear velvet leopard pants to school. At the Deborah Brown Community School that would be considered a fad, just like dreadlocks, afros and mohawks.
A 7-year-old girl named Tiana Parker was recently sent home from Deborah Brown Community School, the charter school she attends in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for failing to comply with school policy. Her violation? Tiana, who is African American, has dreadlocks and school rules state that “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable.”
Wait, wait, wait. Faddish? Seriously?
Curious how two of the three hairstyles explicitly banned by the school happen to be two of the ways black women can wear their hair without processing it. The term “faddish” also seems remarkably inappropriate considering how human beings have been ‘froing and locking their hair for the entirety of our species’ existence. That is one hell of a long running fad.
Fortunately, the issue has been resolved:
Deborah Brown Community School, the charter school in Tulsa, Oklahoma that recently came under fire for sending home 7-year-old Tiana Parker on the grounds that she violated appearance guidelines by having dreadlocks, has decided — following a two-hour school board meeting — to officially change their policy.
Even though I hate the way Jezebel usually extrapolates humanist causes to an extreme that makes it impossible to reasonably discuss, I’m totally Team Tiana on this issue. Even if it was just a verbal warning, getting told by a grown up that your hair isn’t allowed is pretty traumatizing, especially when it’s something normal like dreadlocks. Judging by the new hobos I met at Mumford last weekend, I feel pretty confident saying that dreadlocks are fully accepted (and even embraced) in mainstream culture nowadays.
Follow Chelsea on Twitter at @xCawoodstock
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