A 6th grade girl had to leave school for the day because she wasn’t wearing her ‘natural hair’
A young black girl was told she had to leave school yesterday because her hairstyle was “against school policy.” A viral video, posted to Facebook by her brother, shows the 6th grader in tears after administrators told her she had to leave Christ The King Elementary School in Louisiana.
It’s absolutely heartbreaking and infuriating to watch.
The video shows Faith Fennidy crying after being pulled out of class, surrounded by school administrators and her own family members. Her brother, Steven Fennidy, shared it to his Facebook page — where it quickly went viral.
“I hate that I have to post this,” he writes. “But this just isn’t right. 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 writes. “She’s been attending this school for two years and wearing extensions. Over the summer the school has sneakily added in a policy, that no extensions, clip-ins or weaves are allowed.”
Watching that little girl cry after being singled out and humiliated is excruciating. You can hear a family member off-camera ask a member of the school staff, “What’s wrong with her hair?”
Fennidy says his little sister received a notice about the policy on the first day of class. ABC News reports that she showed up to school on Monday with her hair done differently in order to “comply with the policy.” She was still sent home. Her brother shares his frustration that the policy change took effect without the school community weighing in on it — specifically a policy that excludes its black students and other female students who wear hair extensions.
“Extensions make the hair easier to maintain,” he explains. “It allows my sister to have access to the swimming pool without having to get her hair re-done every night. 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.”
He’s absolutely right. Furthermore, what kind of school places more value on a girl’s hair over her education? It’s beyond frustrating to see a school district force a student to leave school because she’s wearing hair extensions. Fennidy’s mother, Montrelle Fennidy, tells NOLA.com that after the incident, her daughter is no longer a student at Christ King Elementary.
In a statement to NOLA.com, Archdiocese of New Orleans Superintendent RaeNell Billiot Houston said schools develop policies that are “appropriate for their respective schools” and that “only the students’ natural hair is permitted,” according to the statement. Why, though? What difference does it make to the school’s learning environment?
“All the principal could say was, ‘They’re swinging it and things like that,'” Fennidy says. “She kept saying the issue is it’s not their natural hair. It’s a style that we are not allowing. It’s not uniform.”
Here’s hoping the Fennidy family finds a better, more inclusive school for Faith and that Christ The King Elementary School hasn’t heard the last from them.
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