This Girl’s ‘Faddish’ Dreads Got Her Sent Home From School [UPDATE]
Update 9/10: The worldwide attention received by Deborah Brown Community School's dress code has prompted school officials to amend the guidelines, FOX23 reports. The new guidelines no longer state specific hairstyles that are off limits, but rather note that the administration has the right to contact the parents/guardians of any student whose hygiene "causes a risk to the health, safety, and welfare of the student, his or her classmates and faculty or stagg or detracts from the educational environment."
Deborah Brown Community School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, considers “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles unacceptable,” so when 7-year-old Tiana Parkercame to school with dreads, she was immediately in direct violation of school policy. As a result, she was sent home crying.
Tiana is African-American, and as an African-American, there are only so many ways one can tame the hair — dreadlocks or an afro being two of those options. To call these styles ‘fads’ would be incorrect, given that these hairstyles have been around for decades. The only other options would be cornrows (essentially dreads locked to the scalp) or a great deal of relaxer to make naturally curly and frizzy hair lay straight. This last option involves heavy chemicals, though, which can be a deterrent for parents with young kids. It’s just easier to dread or pick it out.
Tiana’s father, Terrance, is a barber, and as a result of the school sending his daughter home over her hairstyle, he told Fox23 that “It hurt my feelings to the core.” He added, “She’s always presentable. I take pride in my kids looking nice.”
Terrence made the decision to pull Tiana from the school for the remainder of the year, transferring her to another place that finds her hairstyle perfectly acceptable, according to Fox.
Regardless of where she is now, Tiana still feels the sting from her earlier experience. “They didn't like my dreads,” she said through tears.