What? School Bans Afro Puffs and Braids on Black Girls


We can’t even begin to understand this. Today, The Root reports that Horizon Science Academy in Lorain, Ohio circulated a letter to parents that stated in the upcoming school year, they would no longer be okay with their female students wearing Afro puffs or “small twisted braids”. If your girl has natural hair, well, she’s just out of luck. This ban essentially rules out the most popular styles girls wear their hair in.

The site Black Girl Long Hair points out the dress code is unclear; do those rules apply just to boys and girls? If the rule is directed at boys, then maybe that makes a little more sense; many private and charter schools do you have rules that prevent boys from having their hair long. The letter states the school is committing to eradicating gang violence. Because hairstyle is an important way to for gang members to identify one another, it does perhaps make sense that everyone cut their hair in the same way.

The question that now arises is whether the schools should be allowed to force a rule on the hairstyle of the children? There are children who attend the school and they come from different traditions and cultures. So on what basis is the school allowed to decide whether a particular hairstyle is good or not?

The children come from different races and different ethnicities and their cultural values and norms of what qualifies as a decent hairstyle is different. A particular hairstyle may suit one community but may not suit the others. The generalized rule that states that boys should not have long hair is fine but a school cannot decide on the hairstyle.

This is a matter of controversy because one cannot have a set hairstyle since not all students would be able to follow it. This is not because they do not want to follow the rule but because their natural hair is such that cannot make them do it. In most cases, schools having such strict rules on children and their hairstyle could be seen as racial discrimination.

Click to investigate this further.

But if that’s the case, the school needs to be very specific about this because it does sound like a racially-motivated attack. No other hairstyles (like ponytails on students with straight hair) have been banned, according to the letter.