By Tenisha Mercer
Here we go AGAIN ...
In yet another case of a school ban on natural hair, a private school in Orlando, Florida has reportedly given a child an ultimatum -- cut your natural hair off or get expelled.
Vanessa VanDyke sports a halo of shoulder length natural hair. So much so that, according to school officials at Faith Christian Academy, it is a "distraction" and they want to cut and shape her hair. They've given VanDyke, 12, one week to decie what to do.
So far, her mom has refused to cut or alter her hair.
Amen! Why is this child's hair even an issue here? Is it affecting students from learning? Is her hair blocking the chalkboard? Has a curl ever stopped another student from cracking open a book?
"It says that I'm unique," said VanDyke in a story to an Orlando TV station. "First of all, it's puffy and I like it that way. I know people will tease me about it because it's not straight. I don't fit in."
Did school single 12-year old out for her hair?
Faith Christian Academy has a dress code and says this about hair: "Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction," and goes on to state examples that include, but are not limited to, mohawks, shaved designs and rat tails.
Funny, I don't see how natural hair that you were born with could be a distraction -- no more than I see how coloring a child's hair is a distraction, either. It's a very slippery slope and this sounds like a legal case in the making.
"A distraction to one person is not a distraction to another," VanDyke's mother, Sabrina Kent, told the Orlando TV station. "You can have a kid come in with pimples on his face. Are you going to call that a distraction?"
The family complained about their daughter getting teased about her hair and feel that their daughter is now an unfair target. But now it's not just kids -- it's adults doing the bullying, they allege.
"There have been bullies in the school," said Kent. "There have been people teasing her about her hair, and it seems to me that they're blaming her."
This is so tough for a 12-year old.
"I'm depressed about leaving my friends and people that I've known for a while, but I'd rather have that than the principals and administrators picking on me and saying that I should change my hair," said VanDyke.
Mom refuses to back down
VanDyke's mother vows to fight.
"I'm going to fight for my daughter," Kent said. "If she wants her hair like that, she will keep her hair like that. There are people out there who may think that natural hair is not appropriate. She is beautiful the way she is."
There has got to be something done about schools who choose to practice hair discrimination, especially when it comes to children! Afro Glitz on Facebook has launched a petition drive. Please sign it. I did.