Target: Deborah Brown, principal of Deborah Brown Community School
Goal: Condemn school for hassling a little girl about her dreadlocks
Recently an elementary school in Tulsa decided that a seven-year-old girl’s petite dreadlocks were too distracting for the other students and hassled her and her father about them. The little girl, Tiana, wore the same hairstyle the year before with no problem.
The school has a very strict and discriminatory dress code, expressly prohibiting “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles.” Please take a note that not only are all these hairstyles traditional elements stemming from ancient cultures and not just “faddish styles,” but an ‘afro’ can be simply an African American’s hair worn naturally, and so the school effectually has a policy against the texture of African American hair.
Tiana was a straight-A student in the school, but her father pulled her out after officials left her in tears over her hairstyle. In a heartbreaking interview, Tiana cries again when she explains why she is so sad: “because they didn’t like my dreads.”
For a little girl, this is a difficult early lesson in discrimination, and it was completely unnecessary. The school’s dress code is incompatible with a modern society that should embrace all cultures and races, including those that originated “dreadlocks, afros, and mohawks.” Please sign this petition to condemn Deborah Brown Community School for its callous actions and discriminatory policy.
Dear Deborah Brown,
Recently, a seven-year-old girl was brought to tears in your school over a dress code policy about her hairstyle. She wore her hair in petite dreadlocks, and your school decided that was unacceptable.
This policy is discriminatory and vile, especially since it includes other cultural elements, such as afros, that specifically tag members of the African American race and police the way they are able to wear their hair.
The case that these hairstyles are “distracting” is nonsensical. How other people look should not affect how your students learn, and if they have such a tentative grasp on their curriculum as to be distracted by someone else’s hairstyle, then you have bigger problems on your hands than a little girl’s dreadlocks.
Please apologize to Tiana Parker and her father, and make amends over this embarrassing and painful incident.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Screenshot via fox23.com