Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, September 5, 2013
A Tulsa, Okla. school recently sent a 7-year-old girl home in tears – all because she chose to wear her hair in dreadlocks.
According to local Fox affiliate KOKI, Tiana Parker was sent home from the Deborah Brown Community School after administrators told her that her hair didn’t look “presentable.” The school has a strict policy against what it calls “faddish” hair, which includes dreadlocks, Afros and mohawks.The school’s dress code also requires that girls with weaved hair can’t wear it longer than shoulder-length or have weaved hair in multiple colors, while boys’ hair must be short and neatly trimmed and they are forbidden from wearing earrings.
Terrance Parker, Tiana’s father, was offended by the incident, telling KOKI that he always makes sure his kids are well-dressed before sending them to school in the morning.
“She’s always presentable. I take pride in my kids looking nice,” Parker, a barber by trade, said. “She went to the school last year and didn’t have any problems,” he added, noting that his daughter’s hair was in dreadlocks last year as well.
Parker has since enrolled his daughter in another school that has no issue with her hairstyle. Deborah Brown Community School officials declined to speak to KOKI on-camera, but administrator Millard Jones told the station that Parker was fully ahead of time of what to expect.
Several parents have also stuck up for Parker on the school’s Facebook page, commenting that the school should be more focused on academic achievement than how an elementary school student chooses to wear her hair.
The school’s charter, according to KOKI, strictly enforces the dress code to maintain a “respectful and serious” atmosphere, and that students who do not follow the school’s dress code will be sent home for noncompliance.