Throughout the years there have been numerous complaints lodged against Black students for their hairstyle allegedly violating school dress codes. Many handbooks prohibit students of color from wearing natural hair hairstyles such as Afros or braids. The case seems to be no different for an Arizona mother who was told her son’s braids violated the school’s dress code.
Brittany Anderson withdrew her 12-year-old son Nasir, from Teleos Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, Arizona after the school called to say her son’s hairstyle was inappropriate.
“If the hair is maintained, what’s the problem? It’s not like it’s keeping him from learning”, she told ABC15.
Anderson added that her son’s hair has been in braids for the past “six months” and it’s never been a problem.
“The day of school pictures — was the first time I was notified that it was a problem,” she said. “If this was a problem six months ago, I would never have allowed my son to grow out his hair.”
On page 49 the handbook reads, “No shaved heads, Mohawks, rat’s tails, ponytails, or braids.” The upset mother noted that she never wants her son to feel “as though he doesn’t have a voice” and she’s challenging the handbook.
“Everything else I’m perfectly fine. Attendance, call-ins, uniform policy…that’s all well and said, but you’re not going to dictate how my son can wear his hair”, she told the news outlet.
Great Hearts Academies, which Teleos is part of, originally released a statement stating they uphold their current policies for all students. However, the school has since released a following statement claiming to re-evaluate their dress code to become more “sensitive to the cultural diversity.”
Anderson told ABC15 she respects the school’s decision to rethink the handbook, but she doesn’t plan on enrolling her son back into the school.