7-year-old girl Tiana Parker was sent home because her dreadlocks were considered unacceptable according to Tulsa charter school Deborah Brown Community School. The school’s dress code bans “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks and other faddish styles.” Unsurprisingly, this story has gone viral within the hair community. It was even a “Hot Button Topic” on The View, and for good reason.
I think its a shame that a little girl was made to feel bad about her hair. But because of all the media attention centered around this story, the school’s administration has since changed the policy.
According to local Tulsa media outlet NewsOn6.com, the charter school’s policy now states, “The Administration reserves the right to contact the parents/guardians regarding any personal hygiene issues that it believes causes a risk to the health, safety and welfare of the student, his or her classmates, and faculty or staff or detracts from the educational environment.”
But I’m afraid the damage has been done. Children, especially little girls, are very impressionable at this age. Parker’s physical appearance was made a priority even over her perfect grades. My question is: what do policies like these say to our little girls and their self-esteem?