African-American Girl Faces Expulsion for Her Natural Hair - Whose side are you on?
by Mary Fischer
Ugh. I H-A-T-E hearing stuff like this. A 12-year-old African-American girl may be expelled from school if she does not cut her hair, which she chooses to wear in a natural style as opposed to straightening it.
Vanessa VanDyke attends Faith Christian Academy in Orlando. The officials at the school have given her one week to either cut and shape her hair or they will kick her out of school. Yes ... for reals.
Did I mention that she's attended this school since she was in the third grade -- and her hair has only recently become an issue?
Yeah, well just wait until you hear what started this whole mess.
According to Vanessa, students started teasing her about her "puffy" hair, so her family complained to the school. And then all of a sudden, she's now in violation of the dress code -- and her hair is considered a "distraction" to other students.
Um, I'm sorry -- but I just don't see anything wrong with how this beautiful, smart, mature little girl wears her hair. Sure, it's a little "bigger" than most girls her age, but would I go so far as to view it as a distraction? No way. I actually think the style looks really cute on her -- especially with that sweet yellow bow tucked into one side of her hair.
And doesn't the fact that Vanessa is an honors student mean anything to the administrators at her school? She obviously cares a great deal about her education, so why do they feel it necessary to take that away from her simply because they don't like her hair?!?
I also feel so bad for her mother, because the last thing any parent wants is to see her child ridiculed for the way she looks. She's absolutely doing the right thing by standing up for Vanessa and allowing her to keep her hair the way it is instead of giving in to the school's wishes.
And even if she does choose to cut it to conform to their standards -- the damage is already done. How is she supposed to be happy and thrive in a school that places so much emphasis on her appearance?
This is just sad. It would be different if her locks were neon yellow or worn in a mohawk or something like that -- but this is her natural hair.
But maybe this is a blessing in disguise, and Vanessa will wind up in another school that is more accepting of her. One thing's for sure, if she leaves, it will be Faith Christian Academy's loss ... not hers.
Whose side are you on -- the school's or Vanessa's?