‘Here we go again…….’, was my initial thought when I heard this story. Why does this keep happening to the children? Recently, there was the story of the young girl at Deborah Brown Community School in Tulsa, who was told by a black administration, that her dreadlocks were unacceptable, now this.
Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, Florida has reportedly labelled Vanessa VanDyke’s hair a “distraction.” They allegedly said, she must cut and shape it or she will not be allowed to continue her studies. Their dress code policy simply states that; “hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction.”
Vanessa went to the school for help after experiencing bullying because of her hair, sadly instead of showing Christian compassion towards her, they reinforced the message of the bullies by telling her that her hair was unacceptable and threatened her with expulsion.
Faith Christian Academy is a private school, it seems that sending your child to private school or a school that is predominately black doesn’t necessarily protect them from discrimination. Sadly, in some cases, it may make discrimination more likely.
Vanessa VanDyke is a beautiful young lady who has a great attitude about her natural hair. “It says that I’m unique,” “First of all, it’s puffy and I like it that way; she says. “I know people will tease me about it because it’s not straight. I don’t fit in.”
In a world where the majority of black women feel the need to chemically straighten their hair, or wear weaves, not as an occasional styling choice, but as a necessity, it is good to see a young lady who is confidently embracing her natural hair texture. She is simply wearing her hair out, just like a girl with straight hair, wears it down. Yes natural hair can be worn conservatively away from the face, such as in a bun or puff. However, this young lady has been told that only a hair cut or straight hair would be acceptable. Reportedly, Vanessa VanDyke, has until the end of the week to adhere to the school’s demands. Unless the girls with long straight hair, who wear their hair down have been given the same ultimatum, this constitutes discrimination. If a child with ginger hair was being bullied, would the school label their hair a distraction and tell them to dye it?
Natural hair is not a hair style. It is simply leaving your hair the way God made it. Surely as a Christian school; Faith Christian Academy would teach their students that God made no mistakes. Yet they are telling this young lady that her natural hair is a mistake and must be corrected through artificial means.
What are your thoughts on this story? Is the school at fault? Could it be that people still aren’t use to seeing black women with their natural hair texture?
UPDATE: the school has issued a statement saying that they will no longer expel Vanessa because of her hair but they require that she wear it in a more conservative way. Here is the link to the updated story: http://www.clickorlando.com/news/orlando-private-school-wont-expel-africanamerican-girl-over-hair/-/1637132/23173004/-/1hgfb7z/-/index.html