School Won’t Expel Girl With Natural Black Hairstyle
Administrators at Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, Florida decided not to expel 12-year-old Vanessa VanDyke, who they claim is not complying with the school’s policy. The school said Vanessa’s hairstyle is a distraction and she would need to either cut it or style it differently. Backing up after uproar on the Internet over the controversy, the school now just wants her to style her hair to conform to the school’s policy. Vanessa and her mother, Sabrina Kent, are still not happy.
Despite being bullied at school, Vanessa said she still doesn’t want to change her hair. She said she’s “unique” and “different” and each one of her classmate is unique and different.
Vanessa’s mom said, “African American hair grows out, it doesn’t grow down and that’s the way it is. Her hair is her hair. What am I supposed to do?”
Vanessa’s parent released a statement saying, “Because white society has made African Americans feel ashamed of their natural appearance, many African Americans have damaged or lost their hair using harsh chemicals to straighten their hair. Instead of labeling Vanessa’s hair as a so-called ‘distraction’, the ‘distracted’ students should be taught about this aspect in history of the African American experience.”
In an e-mail, Pastor Karl Stevens is quoted as saying, “I’m going to strongly encourage you to consider the school’s request, and at least shape or have her hair cut. That I believe would resolve the issue.”
Erik Sandoval reported contradictions in another statement that he received. The statement read, “We’re not asking her to put product in her hair or cut her hair. We’re asking her to style her hair within the guidelines according to the school handbook.”
Vanessa and family have set a deadline for Monday to see what they are going to exactly do.