Target: Horizon Science Academy in Ohio
Goal: Urge the Horizon Science Academy in Ohio to lift its recently imposed ban on Afro-puffs and braids
Horizon Science Academy is a publicly funded community charter school. Operating at several locations in Ohio, it prepares 9th-12th graders for college. Recently, parents and guardians of students have received a letter, detailing school-wide and classroom procedures that will foster student learning and create a safe environment for learning. Apparently, one of the changes to the school dress code is to ban students from wearing Afro puffs and braids.
In the letter, the academy addressed the dress code as a method to relieve students from worrying about fitting in and wearing trendy clothes. Also, the dress code is supposed to help identify intruders, diminish socioeconomic barriers between students, increase a sense of belonging and school pride as well as help prevent gangs from forming. Furthermore, the dress code is designed to improve students’ attendance, focus towards academics and positive behaviors. But how does banning Afro puffs and small twisted braids, with or without rubber-bands, help with any of those school dress code objectives listed above?
Although it is not clear what the administration means by small twisted braids, but if the school is referring to box braids, then they are forbidding a protective hair style that black girls have worn for generations. In fact, Afro-puffs are like the black version of the ponytail, according to an online website called “Black Girl Long Hair.” Sign the petition to demand Horizon Science Academy to lift the ban on wearing Afro-puffs and braids.
Dear Horizon Science Academy,
Recently, you sent a letter to parents and guardians of students at your college preparatory community charter school. The letter starts off very optimistically, declaring “what a great year we’ve had at Horizon Science Academy.” The letter goes on to say how hard the administration will work to create an even better environment for learning this year. Your reasons for having a school dress code are reasonable. However, the new inclusion of “Afro-puffs and twisted braids, with or without rubber-bands, are NOT permitted” to the school dress code is discriminatory, unnecessary, and inappropriate.
How does banning students from wearing Afro-puffs and twisted braids help with fostering a sense of school community and/or improve students’ attendance, focus towards academics and positive behaviors? Your school dress code is designed to diminish socioeconomic barriers between students, increase a sense of belonging and school pride as well as help prevent gangs from forming, which are laudable goals, but disjointed if you think banning students from wearing Afro-puffs and twisted braids will help with any those objectives. The Afro-puffs are essentially black version of the ponytail, according to “Black Girl Long Hair.” Would you ban ponytails for students of other ethnicity?
Lift the recently imposed ban on Afro-puffs and twisted braids. Not permitting a group of students from wearing Afro-puffs and twisted braids is not only inappropriate, but also discriminatory and unnecessary. Create a better learning environment for all your students by recognizing that this newly imposed ban is unnecessary and should be lifted.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: OriginalFotografie via Flickr