The Deborah Brown Community School's policy against "faddish" hair — "such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks" — led to a 7-year-old girl being sent home from school in tears. Tiana Parker's father, Terrance Parker, told KOKI that he was forced to pull his daughter out of the Tulsa charter school after administrators hassled the family about her appearance. Parker, who's a barber, said school officials at Deborah Brown told him that Tiana's hair didn't look presentable.
"She's always presentable. I take pride in my kids looking nice," Parker told KOKI. "She went to the school last year and didn't have any problems," he added, telling a reporter that Tiana's hairstyle had not changed. "It hurt my feelings to the core," Parker said as he comforted his visibly upset daughter. Tiana, a straight-A student, has been enrolled at another school that welcomes her new hairstyle.
Tiana began to cry when the reporter asked her why she was sad.
Deborah Brown Community School's policy mandates uniforms and lays out other specific rules for students' hair as well, saying, "For safety reasons, girls weaved hair should be no longer than shoulder length. Wearing weaved hair in multiple colors is not allowed. Boys' hair is to be short and neatly trimmed. Boys are not allowed to wear earrings."
The school's charter enforces the strict dress code to maintain a "respectful and serious atmosphere" and states that students who fail to wear the proper uniform will be sent home for noncompliance. Officials from Deborah Brown Community School in Tulsa declined speak to the station on camera, but administrator Millard Jones told KOKI that Terrance Parker was fully aware of what was expected.
Many people are leaving comments on the school's Facebook page criticizing their dress code policy.
Watch the story, via KOKI News in Tulsa, Oklahoma:
Ellie Hall is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
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