You know what never seems to amaze me? How people always claim that “it’s just hair” but i constantly run across stories like these that reinforce the fact that it’s not just hair. Vanessa VanDyke has been going to this school all of her life and now they are telling her, she can’t wear her hair “a certain way” there. She either cuts it and shapes it or she is getting expelled from the school. More and more stories such as these are popping up. It really makes me wonder how many MORE incidents happen on a daily basis that don’t reach the masses. SMH. She is a very pretty little girl.
An African-American teen told Local 6 she faces expulsion because administrators at her private school want her to cut and shape her hair.
Vanessa VanDyke said she was given one week to decide to whether cut her hair or leave Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, a school she’s been going to since the third grade.
But for now, she and her mother do not plan to change her hair because it is part of the 12-year-old’s identity. But her natural hair style comes with a cost.
“It says that I’m unique,” said VanDyke. “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.”
VanDyke said that first the teasing from other students, but now, school leaders seem to be singling her out for her appearance.
Faith Christian Academy has a dress code and rules against how students can wear their hair. The student handbook reads: “Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction,” and goes on to state examples that include, but are not limited to, mohawks, shaved designs and rat tails.
“A distraction to one person is not a distraction to another,” said VanDyke’s mother, Sabrina Kent. “You can have a kid come in with pimples on his face. Are you going to call that a distraction?”
VanDyke said she’s had her large, natural hair all year long, but it only became an issue after the family complained about students teasing her about her hair.
“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.”
“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,” said VanDyke.
“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.”
School administrators responded to an email asking about the issue, but did not provide any answers to questions.
This is the school, Faith Christian Academy, facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fcaorlando
I already see tons of angry comments from people. This is 2013. You cannot do things like this and not expect backlash ESPECIALLY when your plastered ALL OVER THE INTERNET!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below
Administrators at Faith Christian Academy now say they are not requiring one of their students to cut her hair in order to continue attending, but they are asking her to style it differently.
[UPDATE: Family releases statement]
Last week, a school adviser asked Vanessa Van Dyke’s mother to either straighten or cut her daughter’s hair or risk expulsion.
“African American hair grows out,” mother Sabrina Kent said. “It doesn’t grow down. Her hair is her hair. What am I supposed to do?”
Vanessa admits her hair is very big compared to other students at her school.
“It’s puffy, and I know people will make fun of me, because it’s not straight,” she said. “I don’t fit in.”
Vanessa said she doesn’t want to cut her hair and doesn’t want to straighten it, either. At the same time, she also doesn’t want to leave her classroom at Faith Christian Academy and her friends.
After Local 6’s original story aired, school administrators changed their requests of Vanessa and her family.
“We are not asking her to put products in her hair or to cut her hair,” read a statement sent to Local 6. “We are asking her to style her hair within the guidelines according to the school handbook.”
The handbook does not cite large or frizzy hair, noting only, “Mohawks, shaved signs, rat tails, etc.”
Kent said she and Vanessa are going to talk about their options over Thanksgiving. SOURCE