Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ohio School Bans Natural Hairstyles -- Then Reverses Itself

By Tenisha Mercer

An Ohio school wanted to ban afro puffs
From the WTF file, comes a story about a school in Ohio banning natural hairstyles such as afro puffs and small braids in a letter it sent home to parents as part of dress code requirements.

Part of the letter that Horizon Science Academy in Lorain, Ohio, sent to parents last week said:

"Afro-puffs and small twisted braids, with our (sic) without rubber bands, are NOT permitted."

Source: BGLH

Interesting, since this style is a style that little black girls -- and some boys -- have worn for generations.

Naturals rose up and the school backed up. This was their latest response, with a mea culpa:

"In the dress code information packet, a statement was made about not allowing a
certain hairstyle. This information has offended many people and by no means did we have any intention of creating bias towards any of our students. We truly apologize for this mistake and want to thank everyone for their feedback about the information in our handbook.
Furthermore, we are taking the matter seriously and again apologize for any offense it may have caused. We are currently taking the necessary steps to correct the information and to prevent this from ever happening again. We will be sending the final updated version of our dress code as soon as possible."

My Take

The insensitivity is absolutely unbelievable. Seems like most of this stems from not knowing, or caring to know, anything about our natural hair. Ponytails are indeed afro puffs on textured hair. But the "ban" said nothing about other ethnicities who choose to wear their hair in ponytails. Same with small braids. Is that banned on other races, too?

I'm glad that the school changed their policy, but there's got to be more cultural education at this school about natural hairstyles.

What do you think?

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