A 6-year-old Tulsa, Oklahoma girl was sent home from school because her unkempt dreadlocks violated the school's dress code.
Tiana Parker's father, Terrance Parker, told KOKI that his daughter was pulled out of class at Deborah Brown Community School for having the "wrong hairstyle."
“She’s always presentable,” explained Parker, who is a barber by trade. “I take pride in my kids looking nice.”
“They didn’t like my dreads,” the little girl cried during an interview with a KOKI reporter.
The Charter school student body is majority black, and the curriculum prepares students for the real world, aka the workplace. Students are taught to take pride in their appearance which includes grooming.
The school's policy states faddish hairstyles can cause a distraction in a learning environment. At the Charter school, children are taught to look presentable as they will be required to look when they enter the workforce.
It is noted that the school's well-groomed principal wears her natural hair tucked under a tidy twist out wig.
Officials from Deborah Brown Community School in Tulsa declined speak to the station on camera, but the school policy states that “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable.”
KOKI reported that the “school feels that could distract from the respectful and serious atmosphere it strives for.”
“She went to the school last year and didn’t have any problems,” Terrance Parker pointed out. “It hurt my feelings to the core.”
And from the way that 7-year-old Tiana wept as she spoke to KOKI, it was obvious that her feelings were hurt as well.
“They didn’t like my dreads,” she said. “I think that they should let me have my dreads.”
Tiana has now been enrolled in a new school, which welcomes her hairstyle.”
Thanks to loyal reader Kiyah S. for the tip.