Because it’s not hard enough being a 12-year-old girl with hair that doesn’t look like the other kids’ (or maybe because it’s National Racism Week?), teachers are also ripping on the appearance of Florida tweenager Vanessa VanDyke.
VanDyke is now facing expulsion from the private school she’s been attending since the third grade, Orlando’s Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, because administrators want her to cut and shape her natural hair.
“It says that I’m unique,” the African-American girl told Local10.com. “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.”
But though she no longer harbors any ill-feelings towards her hair, Faith Christian Academy is saying it goes against their dress code. The student handbook reads: “Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction,” citing mohawks, shaved designs and rat tails — all of which, it’s fairly obvious, take considerable effort to achieve — as examples of no-no hairstyles.
VanDyke’s mother has come to the girl’s defense, saying one person’s idea of a “distraction” is not the same as another’s. ”You can have a kid come in with pimples on his face. Are you going to call that a distraction?” Apparently her daughter’s hair flew under the teachers’ radar until school bullies started picking on VanDyke, after which the family complained to the school.
While private schools are notorious for controlling multiple aspects of their students appearances, we have to second the questions of the article’s commenters: Why wasn’t VanDyke’s hair an issue when she first interviewed at Faith Christian Academy? Doesn’t telling a child that the way God made her is not acceptable totally fly in the face of Christianity? And our own sentiment, what the actual f***?
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