A Florida school’s dress code has changed after the parents of a natural-haired teen were told by school administrators their daughter’s hair violated the policy.
“People say they love my hair because it’s so diverse, curly and Afro-centric,” says Nicole Orr, a 16-year-old student at Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla., to Fox 35.
Her father, Eric Orr, and was contacted by school administrators who said Nicole’s hair violated the private school’s dress code policy.
“I received a call saying that my daughter needed to get her hair done and she wears her natural and I was kind of taken aback by it,” Orr says.
Secily Wilson, Nicole’s mother, said her daughter, a straight-A student, was questioned what was wrong with her hair.
“She literally felt, ‘Wow, what’s wrong with my hair? The Caucasian girls are able to wear their natural hair straight,’ ” Wilson says. “‘Why can’t I wear my natural hair the way that it grows?’ ”
The parents were directed to the handbook where it said, Orr pointed out, that “dread-like” hair was prohibited.
“That could be ambiguous and it could give you latitude to target a certain person or a certain group, so we felt we needed to address the issue,” Orr says.
Orr and Wilson spoke with the academy’s headmaster Monday, May 16 and learned why natural hair was against the rules to begin with.
“My understanding in talking with the dean of students, I think it was more in line with that neat and organized look that we’re going for,” Kasey Kesselring, Montverde’s headmaster says. “Not so much the issue of dreadlocks, per se.”
After reviewing the school’s hair policy, Kesselring agreed that the language about locs needed to be removed so no one was singled out.
“To know that we were able to help our daughter and all the other daughters or boys out there … we feel pretty good about it,” Wilson says.