We’ve heard this story too many times before. A black girl is kicked out of school because her hair is “distracting”. We talk about how wrong it is. We protest. We share with family and friends. And then, we forget about it. But why does this keep happening? Why must we continue to see little girls crying as they are removed from classrooms or standing in protest to teachers? In 2016 alone, there were six girls that were either threatened with detention, suspended, or expelled for their natural hair or protective styles.
Girls like Faith Fennidy of Christ of King Parish School in Terrytown, Louisiana or twins Deanna and Mya Scot shouldn’t be removed from their schools or not allowed to attend prom because their hair was in braids.
Unathi Gogxeka of Lawson Brown High School in Port Elizabeth, South Africa shouldn’t have been threatened to not take her finals because her hair wasn’t “beautiful” in the school’s opinion.
Vanessa Vandyke of Faith Christian Academy in Belton, Texas shouldn't have been threatened to be expelled and straighten her hair.
Tayja Deleveaux and other students of C R Walker Senior High School Nassau, The Bahamas shouldn’t have been humiliated by their teacher and told their hair was “untidy”.
Students of Pretoria High School for Girls in Pretoria, South Africa shouldn’t have to take their time from studying to protest unjust rules and regulations on their hair.
Hair takes work; especially in areas where it is hot, rainy, or humid. In schools where swimming is involved, it takes even more work. Without proper attention or maintenance, hair can become matted and damaged; sometimes permanently. This is usually why parents or guardians resort to protective styles. For the girls who are embracing their curls, they shouldn’t be told that their hair is “untidy”, “nappy”, or not beautiful.
There needs to be some real change culturally and systematically. We need more black and brown teachers, administrators, and board members at these schools or starting their own schools. We need more schools that value black and brown students and inspire them to be more than their appearance. We need genuine love and support for these students in the years where their personalities and outlooks on life are molded.
Enough is enough, #SupportThePuff
Faith Fennidy Removed from school - https://people.com/human-interest/faith-fennidy-hair-removed-catholic-school/
Faith Fennidy Removed from School BBC - https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45269540
Times Where Black Girls Were Kicked out of School - https://www.elitedaily.com/life/culture/black-girls-natural-hair-racism-schools/1953497
War on Black Hair in South Africa - https://www.newsweek.com/g00/black-hair-school-south-africa-apartheid-642154?i10c.encReferrer=&i10c.ua=1&i10c.dv=14
Racism in South Africa - https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/protests-over-black-girls-hair-rekindle-debate-about-racism-in-south-africa/2016/09/02/27f445da-6ef4-11e6-993f-73c693a89820_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7d21f758a7f7