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School says Cut Natural Hair or Be Expelled, Mom and Daughter Don’t Fold

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teen cut your hair or be expelled

by Barry Burch Jr.

Rather than promote free-thinking, the mantra at schools across the nation, public or private is: Conform or Leave.

A teenager in Orlando has received the message quite loudly.  She has a week to determine if she is willing to cut and shape her hair or be expelled.

The young lady’s name is Vanessa Vandyke and she currently attends Faith Christian Academy.  The same school she has attended since she was in the 3rd grade.

However, her future there is unclear.  Right now, she and her mother are refusing to change the hair because they see it as part of who Vanessa is as a person.

Vanessa commented, “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.”

Despite teasing from classmates, Vanessa has vowed to stay true to her identity.  But unfortunately, her classmates are not the extent of the problem.  The teen claims that officials at the school are now taking part in singling her out based on her appearance.

There is a dress code at the Academy, but nothing specifically addressing Vanessa’s natural hairstyle.  The student handbook reads, “Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction,” and goes on to include examples like mohawks, shaved designs and rat tails.

Vanessa’s mother, Sabrina Kent, is not tolerating the claims that her daughter’s hair is a distraction worthy of barring from the school.  “A distraction to one person is not a distraction to another,” she said.  “You can have a kid come in with pimples on his face.  Are you going to call that a distraction?”

Well is that kid Black (I digress)?

Vanessa has worn her natural hair all year, but after the family complained about other children at the school making fun of it, the school decided to order that she make a change.

“There have been bullies in the school,” said Kent. “There have been people teasing her about her hair, and it seems to me that they’re blaming her.”

Vanessa is saddened that she may have to leave her school, but has had enough from school officials.   “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,” she said.

“I’m going to fight for my daughter,” Kent said. “If she wants her hair like that, she will keep her hair like that.  There are people out there who may think that natural hair is not appropriate.  She is beautiful the way she is.”

Barry is a scholar, who enjoys writing, arithmetic and politics.  Reach him @ Barryburchjr@gmail.com

113 Comments

  1. Carolyn M.

    November 26, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Vanessa yor hair looks great!

    • RukiyatG

      November 28, 2013 at 9:21 am

      Yes, her hair looks lovely but let’s consider a few things…

      She attends a Christian school. And for the bible reading followers of Christ, we are instructed in scripture to do things ‘in decency and order’. The school has not instructed her to relax her hair. Nor to cut her hair. She is wearing a large, blown out ‘fro. Lovely, yes! And distracting. It is easy to take offense when challenged for something we have chosen to do. The school isn’t the bad guy in this situation, neither is the young lady or her parents; this is really an act of defiance toward a system that has traditionally been oppressive. This young lady’s parents would serve her better by teaching her that there is a time and a place for everything. Maybe a ponytail or cornrows for school, and big fluffy ‘fro for after school and weekends! No harm, no foul. If she were in a work environment would the same hairstyle be considered appropriate? Should her first inclination be to take offense and remain defiant when challenged ?

      I wear my big fluffy ‘fro regularly! But when I’m going to the theatre,a show, or a presentation where people have to sit behind me to see what’s in front, I tone it down. It doesn’t make me any less of a naturalista, nor does it diminish my sense of cultural pride. It simply shows people that I am considerate and not more interested in my own vain glory.

      Check it out- James 1:19

      • Miss B

        November 29, 2013 at 6:06 pm

        @RukiyatG: You should reread the article. She was told to either relax or cut her hair or she would be expelled. There are news videos also. The school has backed off and the mother and daughter stated they would talk over the Thanksgiving Day recess. Cutting or relaxing is not an option but maybe now there will be a compromise. But I hope she doesn’t change a thing! She is lovely and a honor student.

  2. TeeB

    November 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    I love her hair. I’m glad she and her mom are taking a stand and not changing her or who she is. The school needs to be looking at those ignorant, jealous bullies they are enabling there. A Christian school and this is what they teach them…to pick on others and not be you. Great! Dumb azzes!

  3. redrose

    November 26, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Black people,
    Stop trying to tolerate the racist antics of white people. I applaud the mom for supporting her daughters decision to keep it natural and keep it moving. White people are reverting back to the way they acted in the 50’s and 60’s. They are teaching their kids to hate. White people hate Black people. They are evil and racist. They think they are gods and they will be punished for their ways. The education system in this country is horrible, they insist on putting these racist in classrooms with majority black students and yet they refuse to hire any black teachers in all white schools. When they do hire a token black teachers, the evil racist white kids (and the people who spawned them)try to bully and harass them. Its sad because regardless to how much Black people see the truth, they will continue to send their kids to schools to be taught and led by racist white teachers and administrators, date and marry white people, and continue to be treated like second class citizens. I am so glad God will run heaven and not white people.

    • jbabb

      November 27, 2013 at 8:08 am

      Well said… I’m glad God will run heaven&not racist people at all! It amazes me that you speak out against the white race because we are evil&racist as you spew racism from your mouth!people are a disgrace. Racism lives in more than just write people sweetie that is clear by your post!
      She is beautiful & strong, 2 good characteristics to have in this corrupt world we live in!

      • Mela

        November 27, 2013 at 10:27 am

        Whites ARE evil and racist, no matter how much any of you try to deny it. It’s not like it’s news to anybody.

        • Rhonda

          November 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm

          That was rude and unnecessary. NOT ALL WHITES are racist, any more than all blacks like watermelon. Why do you insist on continuing such hateful thinking???

    • AfricanMan

      November 27, 2013 at 8:13 am

      This girl is a mulatto. What does she have to with African / Black people?

      • cheche

        November 27, 2013 at 10:25 am

        and how the hell would you know she is mulatto and what the hell does that have to do with her hair idiot?????

      • Markus

        November 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        What does black have to do with African? Fool.

      • Elder Morris

        November 28, 2013 at 12:02 am

        That is sick what you just said. We Mulatto are black and proud of it. Their are more of us than you think. One drop of black and you are black. A new day is her wake up.

        • Robert Brown

          November 30, 2013 at 4:08 am

          AfricanMan-Is your head stuck in the sand? Obama is Mulatto, having white/black parents but is considered black, basically as it has long been in this racist society, that started with the percentage drop of blood policy and it still exists, just not talked about like racism, it’s alive and well, although a lot of whites have black blood in them, some know it, some don’t. If you have God’s Love in your heart, then it want even matter, whether you are black or white, as God see’s us all. I am very black and very proud but If I was white, it would not matter because I have God’s Love in my heart, so race would not make any difference period, as it should be in every mans heart.

    • rkb1991

      November 27, 2013 at 10:22 am

      Excuse me Redrose, but you obviously have this view about all white people and that there makes YOU the racist. I am white, I was raised to not be racist and to see people for who they are, not for the color of their skin. My daughter is mixed, black and white. For you to say that white people in general are reverting back to the way it used to be is petty of you. I went to school where there was a mix of teachers. Black, white, hispanic, mixed. I don’t know where you are from, but where I’m from, there are racist people of every color, not just whites. I’m glad God runs Heaven and not you. It’s sad that you are the type of person that sees someone for the color of their skin and not the person they are. Acting like they sure won’t get you to Heaven my friend.

      • Bentley

        November 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm

        rkb1991, ‘racism’ is not an attitude like prejudice. Racism is a power structure. Regarding ‘prejudice’, that means to ‘pre judge’. According to the actions of your people and the devastation you have brought to the peoples of color of the world, if any person of color were to distrust or dislike you, they actually are not being prejudice. They are looking at historical and present day truths. It is like saying to someone who calls Jeffrey Dahmer a murderous cannibal ‘prejudice’ because they are speaking truths that are difficult to hear … if you like Jeffery Dahmer and are having cognitive dissonance issues. It is why the Native Americans barely exist and whites stole and continue to control and PROFIT from this stolen land. It is the system of racism and white supremacy (that gives you white privilege) and colonialism and imperialism. These are institutions of the system of racism. White people benefit from these systems and do not do anything to destroy these systems, so you are benefitting from the system of racism, regardless of who you have children with. The ‘one drop rule’ was a rule used to define who was Black by white slave owners. Why would any self respecting Black person define themselves by what a slave owner said? The destructive history that mulattos have played that has been very detrimental to Black people is illustrated and documented in the book “Destruction of Black Civilization” by Chancellor Williams. Read it, Black people, and educate yourselves. However, this does NOT mean that every single mulatto person out there is harmful to Black people. It means that historically, they certainly have been. Bob Marley had a white father but I would call him Black because he had a BLACK mind and was loyal to Black people. Just because a Black person has a white parent does not automatically mean he or she will be loyal to Black people either so we must be careful about what we assume about people and who we choose to embrace as another Black person because they have a white parent, good or bad. There are Black people with two Black parents that do harm to Black people also! rkb1991, since you are white and THINK that just because you have a child with a Black man makes you ‘ok’ in the Black community, you are mistaken. If you are truly concerned about Black people and other people of color in the world that your race had decimated, destroyed, enslaved, stolen from and continue to profit from, then why don’t you confront those systems that benefit you and destroy them instead of parading your half Black child around as ‘proof’ that you are ‘ok’ with Blacks? Deal with the source of the problem which is yourself.

    • dee

      November 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      Redrose…I am sorry you have such a negative view of all white people. However, all white people are not how you describe us. We are not all judgemental and racist as you claim. Just as all black people are not ignorant as some claim. ALL races have good and bad in them. We all bleed red. Please do not lump all white people into your rant. We are not all that way.

    • Nita

      November 27, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      You do not represent my me and all other black people. Hate perpetuates and you are deep in it smh

    • jteach

      November 28, 2013 at 4:47 am

      What makes you assume the school officials and teachers are white? Such conformist policies are enforced and encouraged by people of many races and backgrounds. I have worked in the school system for the past 11 years and seen this first hand. These issues run far deeper than black and white. I applaud Vanessa and her family and encourage them to reach out to the ACLU. I will also reach out to see if she can come share her dirty and her fight with the students at my school.

  4. Corrinn Moore

    November 26, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Her hair is beyond beautiful. I am proud she’s not going to allow them to break her character. Ashamed that adults can’t understand the value of a child’s personalty.

  5. Nezeree Porter

    November 26, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Do not cut your hair. What has hair have to do with education. These educators will they have the caucasian, asian, and other nationality of girls with hair hanging down their back cut their hair? I think not. Leave her hair alone and give this young lady the education that she needs. As far as the other students, teach them that being bias in just like racism. Tell them to look at their books and leave the hair alone.

    Thanks Mom for supporting your daughter. I wish my afro was like hers.

    • AfricanMan

      November 27, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Her mom is an Uncle Tom.

      • Sick-a-african-man-comments

        November 27, 2013 at 11:56 am

        Africaman….
        Shut yo azz up fool…

      • edducated man

        November 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm

        @africanman you know a mind is a terrible thing to waste and your attempt to disrespect the mom calling her an, “uncle tom”, clearly show a mind wasted. Read the story of uncle tom (a fictional character) by Harriett Beecher Stowe (a black woman) before you use this term in a disrespectful manner again. The contempt for the character and those black men trying to emulate him is primarily attributed to James Baldwin a black man (writer) who condemn the non-violent protest approach during the fight for civil rights. Get ya educational weight up…

  6. keepbothbarrelsloaded

    November 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    you wonder our BEAUTIFUL BROWN children get self hatred from

    • AfricanMan

      November 27, 2013 at 8:17 am

      Maybe from she gets it her from her mother.

  7. A.P.

    November 26, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    The girl could have her hair in cornrows and the school would STILL be complaining and call that a distraction. Instead of forcing the girl to change her hair, why don’t teachers teach the students that how to accept differences in other people.

    • Kymm H

      November 27, 2013 at 9:33 am

      I like your reply. Its a shame how ass backwards we are going in this country about race and how we treat people. Its a shame. So why cant she just change her hair style, like wear s 2 strand twist out or wash n go? Just a little more controlled or structured. I mean school is to prep you for emplogyment one day. I remember laying out my clothes the night before school, carrying a briefcase, and looking stylish, lol, you know how we do, for some reason me and my girls thought we were cool like that. Any way what I’m getting at is she worked at a bank she wouldnt wear her hair all over her head like. Save the rock out for the weekend or an after school event. Wear styles a little more conservative, show them people although your hair is in its natural, beautiful, mother africa state, that it does have flexiblity and wearability by changing the style up a bit. Instead of all over your head. It just perpetuates the racist myths thst black are untamed and wear their hair like bangees. I dont know, but Im so heart broken about reading and hearing these types of stories. If there not messing with you at school or work they are clowning at the airports, talking about rub their fingers through my hair at the TSA check point. Crazy.

      • Mela

        November 27, 2013 at 10:32 am

        They do the things they do because they ARE crazy. They simply cannot stop themselves from acting in a demented fashion towards black people, and it is time everyone faced that.

    • Love Thy Neighbor

      November 28, 2013 at 8:01 am

      @ A.P. Well said!

  8. elrancho2

    November 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    If my child attended that school I would organize a parent’s protest against the school to keep Vanessa there. There seems to be no end to the lengths that some white people will go in order to dominate and control black people at every opportunity.

  9. William

    November 26, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Black Women, please go natural!! you are supporting an “Hair” Industry that takes your money to another side of town! While their communities thrive!! Yours become run down and crime ridden!!

    Nubian Queens, take a stand! please go natural and empower your communities with the Billion plus dollars you spend on weaves, etc…

    • Sick-a-african-man-comments

      November 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      Amen… keep saying it my brother!!! I’ve gone back to natural for over 2 yrs now and I’m lovin every last bit of it and I’m more healthier too.
      I’ve only had a weave 1 time in my life and that shyt tore my head up… (itching and scratching infected my head with sores, shyt didn’t even last 1 week), and I lost some hair too..
      God is also calling for his women to return to natural, I know I heard that message from him… its a spiritual thang and my sistahs need to wake-up…
      All that damned makeup/ clown painted faces, fake nails, and dead white folks hair weaved all up in our heads… no wonder many of us are sick and dying of cancer… its nothing but a sign of insecurity, us looking in the mirror and not loving what our God created in us…
      We are the most beautiful rainbow color women on the face of this earth. Don’t yall realize those damn weaves look fake on us, and our blackmen don’t like all that fake-azz shyt!!!

  10. Rebecca Terrazas

    November 26, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Girl you are gorgeous! Baby don’t let anyone tell you different. I’m glad you are taking that stand for yourself.

  11. Oveida Lunsford

    November 26, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Keep your natural hair. It is time for African American’s to be who we are. You were born with that hair, there is nothing wrong with it. NO one ever ask white kids to change their hair. Take a stand. Please don’t cut your beautiful black hair.

  12. Lorraine

    November 27, 2013 at 12:17 am

    All I see is a beautiful young woman; she absolutely looks average (in the sense that she looks like what any beautiful, neat, respectful young lady should look like). It is utterly despicable how this school (Using a Christian name) would even have this hateful bigot attitude. Young lady, trust me, there is something wrong with the Administration and those who think like it. Always stand up for yourself against anyone or anything trying to deny you your right to be exactly how God made you. YOU ARE A TRUE SHEROE!!!

  13. VeronicaPhillipsNickey

    November 27, 2013 at 1:21 am

    Congratulations, I had been teaching at a junior high school where I would tell the student” beautiful one to a young lady with her natural. 2004-2006 Then 2012 the child moved from Delaware to Atlanta. I received a call” Can you write my recommendation for Spelman. She has one of the most beautiful heads of hair. I look forward to seeing more celebrities wearing that hair like Solange Beyonce sister. Stand your ground Vanessa. My sons and daughter have been natural for years. Now I wish all people would remain natural. After all are they saying the creator did something wrong? I wear big fros braids every august summer. Schomberg Liibrary online look at the natural book. Afros on display. Buy “Letters to a Young Sister DeFine Your Destiny by Hill Harper Mothers like this should be supported. Mrs. V. Phillips-Nickey

  14. Aisha

    November 27, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Vanessa you are a strong and powerful young lady. Your hair does not define you but you define who you are. Your mom is powerful also for supporting you in your position. Don’t let anyone take your right to who you are away from you. Start a letter writing campaign and also everyone there should go natural for protest with you. Keep it going girl, you are the winner no matter what.

  15. Beatrice Pierre

    November 27, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Your hair is beautiful. Don’t change it because of those idiots.

  16. Wheniwassifited

    November 27, 2013 at 2:07 am

    OMG, really! No way!! To even discuss her hair is just ignorant and it is none of their biz. That child is beyond gorgeous and her hair is beautiful for any race. PLEAZE, my offense is high on that one and it is a word zi rarely uses but definitely racist but more ignorant than racist in my opinion. Her hair is healthy, beautiful, thick and full…”don’t hate.” We are dark, lovely and our heritage is hair that is uniquely ours. “Did I say I am appalled at this story. Beautiful, precious girl–you are all that and don’t let anyone rip you of who you are. “I’m mad as………..

  17. Tawanza

    November 27, 2013 at 2:44 am

    Baby keep being u never let people change u always be true to yourself I admire your courage & strength stay beautiful. Wish u much success in life u will grow to be a wonderful woman continue to stand for what u believe in

  18. Yaffa Bey

    November 27, 2013 at 3:29 am

    Melanin rich people MUST be allowed to wear the hair that our Creator gave us! Too many schools are kicking our children out over our natural hairstyles. Teachers of other ethnic groups are even cutting braids off of our children’s heads in class. Vanessa’s hair is beautiful. No one should force us to alter, or chemically change, our hair to resemble a different ethnicity. Although this is not an employment situation, it may still fall under (OTHER PURPOSES) in the category of “race and color discrimination” and “race-based distinction.” Victims should look into “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1991” (Prohibition against race discrimination), “The Rights of the Child,” “The UN Conference on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” “USC Title 42,” etc. Women are attempting to grow their hair, not cut it off! I will mention this on air later on today! Wed. 11/27/13

  19. LaLa

    November 27, 2013 at 7:02 am

    I know some school districts in Texas are like this. The legal part that allows the school protection is “must not be a distraction”. The importance is our people attending PTA’S and addressing issues to the administrators defending our children. I am curious was there not a compromise for this situation like example placing it into a ponytail or anything that helps the student possibly behind her to see what’s in front of them. So hopefully this sister was enrolled in the PTA or my suggestion even with the new school enroll. There’s another issue not possibly is not being addressed. How many of us don’t know how to tame our natural hair? I see women that have really good hair not knowing how to get to the center of it being tired especially if you DIY. That causes many creative ways to get around it. That could be the true problem here or could be just me thinking outside the box.

  20. ajweberman

    November 27, 2013 at 7:07 am

    What do they want her to do conch her hair? Pour chemicals on it to make it straight. F – them

  21. Pierre

    November 27, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Once again, the miseducation of America. We must put an end to this thinking that anything thats not approved by or seems White isn’t right. Don’t believe the Hype, keep HOPE alive. Press on Sisters, we feel you…

  22. Donna Thompson

    November 27, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I am so disappointed in this story. This is a Christian school that should be promoting the love of Jesus instead of the blatant racism that’s clearly happening to this child. Guess what…. Jesus didn’t have straight hair either… would he have been expelled?

  23. AfricanMan

    November 27, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Since when is a mulatto African / Black? Look her poppa and self hating mother with the wig attest to that. Who cares if she has no where to turn. She not African nor European, blame the parents.

    • Toni

      November 27, 2013 at 9:31 am

      When you’re filling out documents, the the race section do you see mulatto? No! Therefore you are making no sense at all right now! Her hair clearly depicts that of someone with BLACK genes! It’s not straight or wavy therefore she’s not Caucasian or Indian or white Hispanic!

      • D. A. Isley

        November 27, 2013 at 12:08 pm

        @Toni: I totally agree. I’ve never seen a section on documents for mulatto. AfricanMan is talking out of his ass; fucktard.

    • Sick-a-african-man-comments

      November 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Go back to hell from which you came fool… now didn’t I just tell yo azz that..lol and your sorry-azz is probably hateful azz whitey in-cot-neto.

    • nyla santana

      November 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      Are you searching for pure blooded blacks in America? You must not know the history of this country-we’re hybrids of what once was.

  24. ericaf

    November 27, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Kids go through phases with hair,it make them confident in who they are and helps build self esteem,let her be, my baby just cut her long hair into a Mohawk for the new school year,I let her know how fierce she looks and kept it moving, hair will grow and styles will change but it takes a long time to rebuild self esteem in kids these days. There should be more important things for the district to worry about than some black hair.

  25. coast cooker

    November 27, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I’m so sick and tired of the state of Florida..

  26. Graciela

    November 27, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I just left a message for the administrator. I told them my hair was cut back in 1982 (30 years ago) and my hair has never grown back to my waist length. This is cruel and unusual. How different is this from the French who ask the Muslim sisters not to wear head coverings? This young lady should be able to wear her hair in a natural style. I told the school officials that I am a Christian and that Jesus would not approve of their policy.

  27. Chris

    November 27, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Mom’s what ever you do- please do not cut her hair.

  28. Hiroader2

    November 27, 2013 at 9:39 am

    The article had me at “natural hair”…: that’s what the school officials need to focus on n.a.t.u.r.a.l hair… You’d have to ask yourselves, “exactly what state of hair dressing do these officials deem acceptable?”… When this Christian Academy has held this student since her 3rd grade attendance they’ve got to be aware peer criticism can be petty and adult determine the pupil’s character as being civil or distracting… But still this issue has gone far beyond those factors…

  29. craig garner

    November 27, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Someone needs to explain to this child and her mother that she is just that a child. And children must learn to assimilate into the society in which they need something. In her school the most important thing is that she obtains an education. She will have plenty of time to express herself once she becomes grown and is out on her own. If I was sitting in the class behind her I would have a concern with that much hair blocking my view or worst yet getting on my paper. She should cut it down to a more manageable length and get rid of the big hoop earrings. In her school, education takes priority over self expression. If they let her get away with this then someone else will want to express themselves in some other odd manner and eventually everything will be out of control.

    • khalil Davis

      November 27, 2013 at 11:03 am

      you have a right to your opinion.. But i disagree with parts of your statement. You are right EDUCATION does take priority and the school should understand that. As parents, we teach our kids to be the best they can be,, how is that possible when we then shackle their expression?

    • Sick-a-african-man-comments

      November 27, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Take your sleepy fool-azz somewhere… yo azz is rebuked asap!!! You are nobody but that schools administration spying out in this blog-room… your busted bytch!!!

      • Millicent Veal

        November 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm

        Your comments do not add to or move the discussion. They could possibly be construed as coming from an imposter because no African American in his/her right mind could portray the level of ignorance that has been displayed by your comments. So, whoever you are, you will not defeat or deter people like this young lady because there are more of us to support her than there are of you, thank God.

    • TFCOCS

      November 28, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      If you are a child, seated behind someone much taller than you, and therefore can not see the board, what do you do? You ask them to move, or ask if you can be moved; you do not tell them that their presence is a distraction from learning.

    • Miss B

      November 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      @Craig Garner: You’re out of your mind. Sure kids should be taught respect for rules. But there is a place and time to be allowed self-expression. Having to wear ones hair to suit another’s taste does not fall under the “respect” guideline. If any child is never allowed to “express themselves” by the time they are an adult it will be too late. Speaking from experience. The only time I have heard of hair being an issue was during the period when young pink boys wanted long hair in some schools. You never hear of pink girls having the “hair” problem. Well I haven’t anyway! If you have a problem seeing move to another seat. Judge Milian wears hoop earrings all of the time. You have a nerve to suggest someone else cut their hair. You wear your hair the way you want to and leave the “beautiful young lady and her beautiful alone!

  30. Nikki

    November 27, 2013 at 10:11 am

    This is a Christian school. Biblically speaking the child is in the right for wearing her hair natural. If she made her point not through a fashion viewpoint they would be eating thier words. She keeps her hair the way “God” made her. They are hypocrites.

  31. Adrienne

    November 27, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Obviously this school, nor Orlando has never heard of “Cultural Diversity?” Shame on you Orlando!

  32. Yvette Lundy

    November 27, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Vanessa your hair is a GOD-Given crown of beauty, I went to an all white high school growing up and I grew it natural…your hair is your testimony to the world and your appreciation and love to GOD…fight the devil baby and sue them while you are at it…you will win!

  33. rkb1991

    November 27, 2013 at 10:28 am

    You are a beautiful young lady that has beautiful hair. Be yourself and don’t ever let someone change you! If they can’t handle that, then maybe it is best if you just leave the school. It’s sad that something as simple as someone of a different race than white wants to do what they see fit with their body and they are forced to do one or the other. So it’s okay for someone that is white to come to school with nasty hair that looks like it hasn’t been washed in years, or is bushy or nappy, but it’s not okay for this young lady to wear her hair in its natural state? This world needs to snap out of this racist trance that it’s in and come to reality. I am a white female, and this is ridiculous! Why can’t everyone be treated the same? I am outraged at the way people act towards a race that is different from theirs. Florida is obviously a racist state, as we have seen over the past year or so. They need to get it together.

  34. Rev. George Brooks

    November 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

    This is nothing but a website for black folks to wolf and grumble about white folks treating black folks wrong, and black folks treating each other wrong. So come on here and let off some steam, black folks. That is what Watkins and others that have this site are about. But why is there no serious conversation about WHAT WE NEED TO BE DOING ABOUT THESE PROBLEMS? And us all coming to some conclusion, and some way for us all to come together and take action ON EACH PROBLEM!!! And I do not mean Boyce Watkins, and a few other selected Negroes giving some solutions, and that ends the subject — but the problem continues. Because we DO NOT have any real black leaders, at this time, who is doing a great job of leading us black folks. With far too many of them being chained to white folks, and controlled by them, including the president, and all of these black professors, who are AT WHITE COLLEGES. We never see any of the black college professors being recognized and allowed to give their opinions and advise. The “chained to white college Negroes,” teachers and students, think that they are better than those from black colleges. And that they must be the leaders — with their “whitewashed minds.” — Rev. George Brooks

    • Sick-a-african-man-comments

      November 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      And you need to shut the hell up because preachers don’t have a voice anymore… You guys are the cause of much of this crap going down in our black communities… so don’t get this blog room started on preachers, I don’t believe you really wanna go there PREACHER!!!

    • Mike C. Okereke

      November 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Please stay on the topic, Rev.,

  35. khalil Davis

    November 27, 2013 at 10:59 am

    I have noticed that the comments are now race driven although the article NEVER mentioned what race any of the school official or student is. Regardless of what our perception of this is, the real issue is this young lady is exercising her right to set her image not what society THINKS she should be. The minute that freedom is compromised.. there should be consequences to the people administering breach (i.e lawsuit based on principle)THATS ALL THAT MATTERS.. The school should concentrate on EDUCATING MORE and students choice of hairstyles less.

    • jteach

      November 28, 2013 at 5:00 am

      My sentiments exactly. The fact that so many made the assumption about the race of the officials speaks to the fact that we don’t think as critically as we should when it comes to conversations that involve racial tones

    • Miss B

      November 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      @khalil Davis: You’re correct. Remember the little girl asked to leave a school where the admin were “People of Color” because she had her hair twisted? There are quite a few of “People Of Color” with twisted minds also regarding our hair being worn in its natural state.

  36. Nandi

    November 27, 2013 at 11:14 am

    The child is in school to learn; she is not American Idol or hanging with her friends at the mall on the weekend. When I was growing up there were policies at home regarding hair styles that were appropriate for school, and hair styles that were not appropriate for school. Today, I have the same policy for my teenage daughter. Why? Because deportment creates a mindset, and I want my daughter to be clear that she is in school, and she is there to learn. She is proudly at the top of her class in one of America’s top high schools. It is clear that the school had a hair grooming policy that predates this young woman’s style. Can you imagine being that student who sits behind her hair at school, craning your neck to see the chalkboard? She has other options besides straightening. She can wear it in a pony tail, bun, braids, or any number of styles. We have to learn to pick our battles. This child’s mother is doing her no favors by make this a “big” issue about racism.

    • Black and classy are not mutually exclusive. Try it.

      November 27, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      I agree. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Nandi.

    • Cre8tive

      November 28, 2013 at 8:36 am

      Great response! I’m in total agreement.

  37. Ghana-Mali-ASonghay

    November 27, 2013 at 11:19 am

    It is funny how the young and old; male and female; black and white; educated and uneducated, still in 2013, do not know what….RACISM is. Hope the mother stick to her guns because I am sure this institution of learning tolerate far-worst issues and concerns.

  38. King Ayettey Zubaidah

    November 27, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I commend Ms. Sabrina Kent for standing up for her daughter’s GOD/CREATOR given Rights. More parents should do the same & the Government Commercially contracted Bullies would stop indocternating our Children to be bullies. They learn what WE teach them. So sad that the school that teaches don’t see the message and lesson they’re sending across the country. Peace. Love, & Understanding is a MUST!!!

  39. Enoch Mubarak

    November 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    The school back down and the girl won Black America 2014 The moral to the story is..fight back….”“I’m going to fight for my daughter,” Kent said.”

  40. loisa

    November 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Nowhere did I see that she was asked not to wear her hair natural; to chemically or otherwise straighten it. As a parent and one who wears her hair natural – that is where I would balk. I would not cut it, but I might change the style. Changing her hair style is reasonable if you look at it honestly because unless she sits in the last row in every class NO student sitting behind her will be able to see anything but her hair; and I would think that if she is relegated to the last row in each class – that would be seen as segregation and cause for more protest.

  41. Imhotep

    November 27, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Its actually a good thing in a way so she can learn early how the Caucasian prototype of conformity is!! The real problem is that we keep sending our kids to be mis educated in schools by folks who want us to assimilate or fail!! Oprah built schools in Africa but only a few black folks iv read built them for us here. Jalen Rose and his three schools in Detroit, The Tiger Woods Learning Academy in South Central, Judge Mathis community College, and a handful of others. Anyone can start a school let alone a charter school but black educators don’t see past their own whitewashed position. Until we teach our own, expect more of this to happen…Hotep

  42. Ann G.

    November 27, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Teachers and administrators worry about the wrong things, their priorities should be attendance, grades, conduct and of course cleanliness and none of these has to do with hair. This is why this country lacks behind when it comes to education in comparison to other countries! Teachers need to get their heads in the books, after all that is what they get paid for not to be fashion police.

  43. Sasha

    November 27, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I LOVE her hair!! As a “natural” sista myself, I applaud her Mother for standing up for her. Since Florida is our “problem” child/state, it seems that “they” make it their point to give people of color problems. I am the only Black at a conservative-repub office and I wear my Afro/natural proudly and if they have a problem with it, they haven’t said anything, LOL!! It wouldn’t matter if they did anyway. Godspeed to this young woman.

  44. Haile

    November 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    If these children went to school to learn they would not have so much time to worry about anybody’s hair.When I went to school I went to learn so I did not have time to loose to worry about anybody or I would miss what the teacher is saying.I did not even want another student asking me anything I wanted to pay attention and take good notes, but then I did not go to school here and I am so glad.We did did not even have to take shots. I have never had any kind of shots to go to school and I got all the childhood diseases without any problems.

  45. brittney

    November 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    This is bullshit. Be you baby. I love your hair

  46. Mike

    November 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I think this whole thing is ridiculous and the poor child should be able to do what she wants. Having said that i hate that everyone automatically goes to race in situations like this. Shes mixed and identifies with black awesome but not only “Black” people can have a fro I’m half white and half hispanic and when i was in school i would pick out my hair and also have a fro. What im getting at is no one mentioned race besides the writer of this article. Im sure if she was a different race and had her hair like that the same issue would arise. Im sure if she put that shit in a scrunchy while at school that would be fine and then she can chaka khan her hair when shes out of school.

  47. Amanda Banankhah

    November 27, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    It’s not just schools either. I encourage my kids to express themselves to the fullest. My daughter was going through a phase using temp hair dye. She was on the drama team at her church. The church decided her self expression was a distraction and kicked her off the team. Told her she could rejoin when she changed her hair back. She no longer attends that particular church.

  48. Nikki

    November 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    If its a Christian school they really ought to look to the bible for answers.what does it say about woman cutting their hair? I can understand about what a private school deems distraction is really up to them but they are going against thier own bible by trying to force her to cut her hair. Its hypocritical. Typical though. Way to pick out whatever you want from the bible. Changing the style is one thing cutting it is another.

  49. Black and classy are not mutually exclusive. Try it.

    November 27, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    1) Unless you were born in Africa, you are not African-American. If you are an American with black skin, you are a black American.
    2) Regardless of the color of your skin, in America, we speak English. Learn it and use it properly please. Many of these posts are an embarrassment. You can be proud to be black, educated and classy.
    3) Racism is prevalent on both sides. Neither all blacks nor all whites are evil. To believe otherwise is pure ignorance.
    4) This article is about school officials attempting to eliminate a “distraction” from their school. Unfortunately, much of this country is not yet ready to embrace the beauty of natural black hair. This is indeed very sad. But, it is no worse than the fact that woman of all shapes, colors and sizes are held to a standard of beauty that, in many cases, simply cannot be met. If this child wore a mohawk to school and was made fun of, she certainly would not be in a position to complain about being made fun of or singled out. I agree that she should keep her hair the way she wants it. She should be brave, be black and be bold. However, she should not, then, complain to authorities and expect “protection” from those who don’t find her bold choice to be socially acceptable. That’s how this all started. If she had just held her head high and not complained, the school officials would not have to do something about the distraction. The bottom line is, it is and should be a personal choice. You can follow the sheep and go unnoticed or you can be an individual and accept being noticed with positive and negative attention alike. That is life.

  50. Mike C. Okereke

    November 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I think fellow students are picking on this student because, her hair-the way I see it on the picture – could pose a distraction. Distraction in this case could mean that some one sitting behind her in class, say, may have to either stand, or constantly ask her to move her head to the right or to the left so that the person behind her could see the teacher or the board clearly.
    This is the way I see it. Let’s call a spade by what it is.
    Mike C. Okereke

    • Territc

      November 29, 2013 at 2:14 am

      Exactly. I fail to see why she just doesn’t plait it into cornrows for the school week.

  51. tinicia smith

    November 27, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Rock your DO, it is truly beautiful. We got your back.

  52. Dorothy Goldsmith

    November 27, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I should also be the responsibility of the School and parent to work on a compromise a beautiful style, to compliment her natural hair and show her pride should be a consideration. I don’t blame her for standing her natural ground she has not other place to go, but to become fake. Demands are always harsh, make you wonder why it was offered. Ignorance it time for other to learn that a person hair is representative of the soul. God place every fiber other here, individually and should be taken for just that. Let’s keep it real, working it out. love

  53. La Tressa Newberry

    November 27, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Stay strong and be who you are. I wish I had your hair, it’s beautiful! And don’t worry about the teasing, I’m 17 and I promise you it gets better. They’ll regret it later.

  54. coonhunter

    November 28, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Yo niggaz don’t know what your talking about keep it real.

  55. shawn

    November 28, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Please let me know what we can do to support

  56. elethe Powell

    November 28, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Is this school for real……What the school administrators wants her to do straighten her hair and , put chemicals in it to make her look different???????or we are in america?????Come on it about her education not her hair. My hair is full, fluffy, and natural. I wear it and I love it. Florida this school administration you should not be in education……. get over your talaban attitude….

  57. Territc

    November 29, 2013 at 2:12 am

    Both side are being hard headed. I understand the distraction, because if she does wear her hair like that daily then it is a distraction, especially for whoever has to sit behind her.

    However, why doesn’t she just plait it into cornrows during the school week?

    This is no longer about the principle, rather about just fight.

  58. Miss B

    November 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    To those that seem to miss the point. Maybe if she was asked in the beginning to cornrow, braid or plait her hair maybe she and her mother would have. She was “told” either “cut” her hair down or be kicked out of the school. The school did not offer a compromise but gave a directive. So the line was drawn in the sand and the mother and child called their hand. This is America and where does this type of action end. The article stated that she was teased about her hair. Nothing was said about students not being able to “see” or any of the other reasons given in some of the comments. If “big hair” causes miseducation there are a lot of miseducated people in Texas. The land of “Big Hair”. Good for the mother and child.

  59. Miss B

    November 29, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I did read in another article that the school had changed its stance and the child was allowed to continue attending the school with her hair as it is

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