When bullies at a Christian school in Florida (where else?) acted up, the administrators decided to order the target to get rid of her naturally-puffy African hair. After all, if students see African hair growing naturally, it's to be expected that they would be inspired to bad behavior, right? The administrators decided that the problem God created needed to be fixed by concealing God's handiwork. These geniuses figured this would be more reasonable than giving students a lesson on Christian virtues, civil rights, or the simple common sense of accepting the reality of biological differences among human beings.
My advice to Vanessa: don't fix it because it ain't broke. And learn from the experience you're living. Perhaps there's another Christian school nearby that has administrators whom God gifted with functioning frontal lobes.
Meanwhile, I've been trying to figure out how Vanessa is supposed to "style" her hair, since administrators claim they aren't requiring that she cut her hair or use chemical products. I think that's exactly what they intended, but they're backtracking now.
How can she limit the volume of her hair without chemicals or scissors? Even if she braided her hair, the shorter hairs, and the hair on the top of her head, would escape and puff out. Cornrows would be a solution, but I doubt that's what the school has in mind, especially since they would have to require all students to wear cornrows in order not to specifically target African hair.
I'm getting a kick out of picturing all the classrooms, with every child wearing cornrows. Blond cornrows, brown cornrows, red cornrows, black cornrows. It's actually kind of a beautiful thought, isn't it?
Is this the solution this school needs?
I'm guessing Rihanna's style would please Faith Christian's administrators:
Rihanna, at the 41st American Music Awards, November 24, 2013.
(Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
Also, see my plan for voluntary separation of pedophiles.
UPDATE: ADMINISTRATORS CHANGE THEIR MINDS
Girl Who Faced Expulsion Over Natural Hair Gets To Stay At Private School
Nov 27, 2013
By Ruth Manuel-Logan
On Monday, 12-year-old Vanessa VanDyke (pictured), who attends Faith Christian Academy in Central Florida, was faced with quite a dilemma.
School officials allegedly mandated that she restyle her natural hair or be expelled for a week. But, just one day after the bizarre request got national media attention, the edict was suddenly rescinded and Vanessa now gets to remain in school with her crowning glory as is, according to WKMG Local 6.
Vanessa has attended the private school for three years and had never experienced any bullying over her hairstyle until now. When Vanessa’s mom, Sabrina Kent, approached school officials over her daughter being taunted by classmates because her hair was not straight, they thought it would be in her best interest to straighten it.
The tween, who loves the texture of her hair, talked to Local 6 about her choice of hairstyle. “It says that I’m unique,” Vanessa said. “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.”
Kent told the news outlet that the school’s threat of expulsion over her daughter’s hair was not a solution to her daughter being bullied. “There have been people teasing her about her hair, and it seems to me that they’re blaming her,” Kent laments. According to the miffed mom, school officials allegedly informed her that Vanessa’s hair was a “distraction.”
The academy does have a dress code in place which also loops in how students can wear their hair. “Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction,” and the stipulations include, but are not limited to, mohawks, shaved designs and rat tails.
Despite the school’s strict dress codes, Kent is standing firm that her daughter’s hairstyle will not change. “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.”
Faith Christian Academy officials released a statement on Tuesday regarding the hair-raising issue:
“We’re not asking her to put products in her hair or cut her hair. We’re asking her to style her hair within the guidelines according to the school handbook.”
[Maura Larkins' comment: I'm trying to figure this out. It seems they're saying that she needs to wear braids. But shouldn't all students be required to wear braids if that's what the school wants?]
Meanwhile, Vanessa and her mom will be lining up strategies over the Thanksgiving holiday just in case.
[Read more HERE.]
African-American girl faces expulsion over 'natural hair'
by Ole Texan
Daily Kos member
Nov 27, 2013
An African-American teen says she faces expulsion because administrators at her private school want her to cut and shape her hair.
Vanessa VanDyke said she was given one week to decide to whether cut her hair or leave Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, a school she's been going to since the third grade.
Whoa!! This was my first reaction after reading this article. And don`t ask me why. I have trouble remembering when it was a time that I saw such beautiful hair on a teenager. Being the state of Florida giving this lovely girl one week to decide to whether cut her hair or leave Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, a school she's been going to since the third grade is not surprising to me.
But for now, she and her mother do not plan to change her hair because it is part of the 12-year-old's identity. But her natural hair style comes with a cost.
"It says that I'm unique," said VanDyke. "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."
VanDyke said that first the teasing from other students, but now, school leaders seem to be singling her out for her appearance.
Faith Christian Academy has a dress code and rules against how students can wear their hair. The student handbook reads:
"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.
"A distraction to one person is not a distraction to another," said VanDyke's mother, Sabrina Kent. "You can have a kid come in with pimples on his face. Are you going to call that a distraction?"
Interestinly enough, Vanessa had her large, natural hair all year long, but it only became an issue after the family complained about students teasing her about her hair. Teasings escalated from obvious taunts into bullying from those whom I think were more envious of such beauty and not on account of distraction.
"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.
It is sad, but highly commended that this teenager take a stand and fight for her principles, her right to be, and self determination to keep her hair. It is undisputable that Vanessa`s hair is her natural hair and is not tainted with hair dyes. Or at least it is not alleged by the Academy.
"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."
School administrators responded to an email asking about the issue, but did not provide any answers to questions. And I have to wonder why.