News & Politics

Tulsa School Sends 7-Year-Old Home Because of Her Dreadlocks

Dreadlocks, afros and mohawks deemed "too distracting" at this charter school.

Tiana Parker
Photo Credit: From Fox 23 News.

Terrance Parker, father in Oklahoma said this week that he was forced to pull his daughter out of school after the school itself sent the girl home for allegedly having the wrong hairstyle. Parker, a barber who ha sheen cutting his daughter's hair for years, and has always made sure her haircuts be appropriate for school, spoke with KOKI Fox local news, and explained that "she'd always presentable. I take pride in my kids looking nice."

Officials from the Deborah Brown Community School in Tulsa declined to speak on the situation directly on camera, but the school policy states that "hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable" at the risk of distracting "from the respectful and serious atmosphere it strives for." Of course, the racial undertones of the outlawed hair styles are inescapable. Ae they saying that Black hairstyles are not "serious"?

The 7-year-old in question, Tiana, wept as she spoke on TV of her feelings being hurt. "They didn't like my dreads," she said. "I think they should let me have my dreads.

Since the incident broke, Tiana has enrolled in a new school, which readers will be happy to know welcomes her dreads with open arms. 




Rod Bastanmehr is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow him on Twitter @rodb.

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