In another classic case of school authorities foregoing education to reinforce racially disparate beauty standards, yet another black student was given the decision to either cut her hair or leave the school.
12 year-old Vanessa VanDyke has been attending the private school Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, Florida, since the third grade and is proud of her hair:
"It says that I'm unique…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 when VanDyke's family tried to report the aforementioned teasing, the school fired back with the ultimatum. That's right. The school raised no issue about the young lady's hair until her family complained about bullying from other students. Real smooth.
According to the dress code section of their student handbook, "Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction…" We need to stop equating different and distracting, stat. If students are distracted by different, clearly they need some talking to. Why the hell is the school administration punishing this girl for being the target of other kids' shittiness that may or may not come from a lack of understanding perpetuated by their own dress code? If some kids make fun of a student for having RoseArt colored pencils, you don't fucking tell that student "Crayola or GTFO."
Also, it's hair. Let's all understand that natural black hair doesn't work like other hair. And if the dumb school dress code doesn't accommodate that, CUT IT OR LEAVE.
While VanDyke and her mother plan to fight the school, VanDyke is preparing to keep her hair and part ways with Faith Christian Academy.
"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."
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time a black student has been forced to leave a school due to her hair violating school policy. Just this past September, 7-year-old Tiana Parker was sent home for her dreadlocks. But mad props to VanDyke for calling BS when she sees it and sticking by her decision. Stay strong girl.