Tiana Parker, 7, was told by her elementary school in Tulsa, Oklahoma that she was not allowed to wear her dreadlocks to school and that she must change her hairstyle. In turn, she left the school.
Deborah Brown Community School is the school Tiana Parker attended. The school officials decided that this school year it would enforce the school’s dress-code policy. According to their dress-code policy, “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, and other faddish styles are unacceptable,” even though Tiana Parker wore that same hairstyle the previous school year.
Terrance Parker, Tiana’s father, said that Tiana’s school called him about a week (and a half) ago and told him that Tiana’s hairstyle violated its dress-code policy. Terrance Parker told TODAY.com that just last year, Tiana’s teachers would compliment her hairstyle. He also requested leniency, which was not granted.
Terrance Parker said that he got Tiana into the charter school because the education is good and because he wants the best for his kids. He described Tiana as a good girl and said that she is a straight-A student.
Complying to Deborah Brown Community School’s dress-code policy meant that Tiana would have to cut her hair and this was upsetting for Tiana, who told her parents that she did not want to cut her hair.
All last week, Tiana attended her new school, Anderson Elementary. Anderson Elementary is also in Tulsa, Oklahoma and it accepts Tiana’s hairstyle. Tiana says that she is happy at her new school.
It is rather harsh for a school, especially for an elementary school, to say how students should look. It limits them from being who they are. Dreadlocks and afros are definitely two hairstyles that can get out of hand if not maintained, but that doesn’t mean that they have to ban them entirely. Instead, the dress-code policy should have stated that hairstyles like these should be kept neat and pulled back.