Afro puffs and braids have been banned by an Ohio school. Specifically “small twisted braids” have been deemed unacceptable at The Horizon Science Academy in Lorain, Ohio.
The new dress code, which will begin this fall, was included as part of a packet mailed to parents of Horizon students. Most rules included in the dress code were expected. Students are not allowed to wear excessive makeup, torn clothing, or facial piercings. Those rules are not unusual, and are banned in most schools.
However, one particular item on the list has upset numerous parents. As reported by MSN, the new dress code specifically states that “afro-puffs and small twisted braids, with or without rubber bands are NOT permitted.” As afro puffs and “small twisted braids” were mentioned in particular, many parents feel the rule is racist.
Black Girl With Long Hair, explains why the afro puff and braid ban is particularly offensive to parents and students:
“The dress code restrictions highlight an age-old struggle that naturals face … Our hair is viewed as radical, funky or unruly in its natural state … restrictions are sometimes placed on us in academic and professional settings that do not extend to our non-black counterparts.”
Complaints from multiple parents have prompted school administrators to review the new dress code. In a release dated today, the Horizon Science Academy in Lorain explains that they did not intend to offend anyone with the new policy:
” … by no means did we have any intention of creating bias towards any of our students. We truly apologize … and want to thank everyone for their feedback.”
The statement continues, assuring parents and students that their concerns will be addressed.
Banning afro-puffs and braids may not have seemed offensive at the time. However, for many parents and students the ban was blatantly racist, and only meant for students of a particular race. Now that school administrators understand the rule’s implications they may be able to find a compromise.
[Image via Wikimedia]