Terrytown, La. – Most schools would welcome a well behaved student wearing freshly a laundered uniform and hair neatly groomed and oiled, that is most schools except Christ the King Elementary School.
Monday a female student at Christ the King was forced to leave school reportedly because of her braided hair extensions.
It all came to light when Steven Evergreen Fennidy wrote in a viral Facebook post that his little sister, Faith, cried when she was sent home for her hairstyle.
Fennidy took video of his sister sobbing at school, while family members are heard speaking to teachers about the policy. The older brother calls the school’s policy on hair a “barrier to entry for black people,” and he accused the school of “sneakily” adding the rule to its handbook this year.
Christ the King Elementary School said parents were notified about the policy change during the summer and on the first day of school.
“Archdiocese of New Orleans schools develop policies appropriate for their respective schools. Christ the King Elementary School has a policy that states: Boys and Girls: Only the students’ natural hair is permitted. This policy was communicated to all parents during the summer and again before the first day of school, and was applied to all students. Furthermore, the school leadership worked with families as needed to ensure compliance,” Archdiocese of New Orleans Superintendent RaeNell Houston said in a statement.
“As it relates to the student in question, the school offered the student’s family an opportunity to comply with the uniform and dress policy and the family chose to withdraw the student; the student was not suspended or expelled,” the statement continued. “We remain committed to being a welcoming school community that celebrates our unity and diversity.”
The student’s family said they were not informed of the policy change and that she the mother attended a parent-teacher meet-and-greet before classes started and administrators did not tell her that her hair was against school policy.
Fennidy’s video of his little sister leaving school received two million views on Facebook. “This is an issue we tried to resolve with the school, but they won’t compromise at all. My sister Faith and many little black girls wear extensions,” Fennidy wrote. “Extensions make the hair easier to maintain … How do you make a policy without even having a discussion. It’s because you don’t care and it’s just one more barrier to entry for black people. This decision is going to affect black children more than white children.”
Rapper T.I. shared the video on his own social media account on Monday and called the school “deplorable.” The video received over half a million views on his Instagram.