children

Teacher Sends Note To Mother of Student Who Has Coconut Oil In Her Hair, Says Her Hair “Stinks”

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BY: NISHA THOMAS

It’s always something!
We can never go too long without hearing about another racially charged story of someone complaining about a black person’s hair.

Whether they choose to where their hair in an afro, braids, locs, or anything that may seem a little “too black,” there always seems to be an issue of whether the hair is being “properly” styled or cared for in a way that suits the needs of white people.

To no surprise, this exact same issue arose once again just this past Monday when Tionna Norris, a Chicago mother, shared an image via her social media accounts that was of a note sent home by her daughter’s teacher.

The teacher requested that she stop using too much coconut oil in her daughter’s hair. Do what now?

“I understand the necessary of coconut oil on Amia’s hair, but please do not use as much. The children were complaining that her hair “stinks.” If you have to apply this daily — please do so lightly, so the kids don’t tease her. Thank you for understanding.”

Norris’ daughter has very kinky-coiled hair, which we all know needs lots of treatment and moisture (hints the coconut oil) in order to stay healthy. If hair of this texture does not receive the right about of moisture then the child could experience unnecessary breakage.

The mother of the young tot posted an image of the letter next to a snap of her daughter’s hair. Her caption for the photo showed that she was completely unbothered by the teacher’s comments and had absolutely no intention of taking her advice.

“*Applies the same amount of coconut oil* y’all gone feel that black girl magic. Sincerely, unapologetically black mom. P.s. Coconut oil has no stinky smell.”

Norris makes it clear that her child is the only black student in her class at the Raggedy Anne Learning Center, which seems to add insult to injury.

“This is why I make it a point to keep her hair natural and tell her yes she’s different and it’s magical,” she wrote on Facebook.

The image, which has gone viral by being shared over 3,000 times via Facebook, has a few people wondering why Norris and her daughter should take time out of their day to make any changes to what they are currently doing when caring for the child’s hair.

They bring up the excellent point that the teacher should instead make note to tell the other children not to bully her because she might be different from them.

“Why is the ill manner of another child your responsibility? It’s absurd,” one commenter said. “I hope the teacher wrote the other kids parents about being bullies since she’s so damn concerned,” another echoed. Others pointed out the fact that coconut oil in general doesn’t have that strong a scent.

Norris mentioned that she and her fiancé went in for a sit-down with the school’s director to solve the issue. They’d then learned that her daughter actually was not being bullied.

“In the conversation she explained the letter was never supposed to be offensive in any way shape or form, no one ever said anything to my daughter, and Amia’s teacher is just a complainer (she’s Russian). We had an adult conversation, and my daughter has many friends, so no I will not be removing her from the school. The teacher is also being disciplined,” she wrote in an update to Facebook.

Norris took to Facebook again on Wednesday, reflecting on how the situation made her and her family feel, considering that the teacher seemed to be the only one who’d had an issue with her child’s hair.

“It was just something the teacher was not used to and thought it was heavy,” she wrote. “Do I still believe the teacher didn’t have ill intentions? Not for a second because the way she tried to talk to me about how she thought my daughter smelled (… she is the only person who felt that way) was absolutely and totally unacceptable, but Amia is deftly my child, her clap back will always be REAL!”

We are hopeful that other parents will put teachers on blast, just like this one did. It’s not fair that black children are being called out for their hair texture, which is something that they can’t seem to help.

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