I recently enrolled my oldest daughter into preschool and in addition to thinking about immunization records, uniforms, and drop-off times I also have to consider my daughter’s hair. Unlike the parents of most little girls with straight hair, parents of curly haired girls have to ask themselves:
Will my child’s school consider her hair a distraction to other children?
What does the school consider “acceptable hair?”
We hear these news stories too often, such as:
The story in which the teacher cut off the little girl’s braid because she was playing with her hair in class…
Stories of children being told they are not “presentable” because of their natural hair…
As well as the story in which the Florida school threatened a little girl with expulsion if she did not tame her “distracting” puffy afro.
Each one of these events is completely unacceptable. According to many schools, daycares, and child care centers across the nation my daughters’ hair would be considered a distraction whether it was out free in an afro or braided up with beads. The term distraction is a matter of perspective anyway. What may appear distracting to one person is perfectly fine with another. The schools should embrace diversity when it comes to hair because these same children are going to encounter way more distracting things in their future, so they need to learn to deal with it today.
I believe that as long as my child’s hair is clean and neat, it should not be up for discussion with individuals who do not contribute to my household. Our girls need to know that their hair is acceptable whether it is curly or straight!
What are your thoughts?
Have you encountered similar situations with your child’s school?
How would you suggest handling the above schools vs. natural hair situations?