Metro Atlanta School District Responds After Viral Images Depicting ‘Appropriate’ and ‘Inappropriate’ Hairstyles Make the Rounds Online

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A viral social media post depicting what haircuts are OK and not OK for young boys to wear at a metro Atlanta elementary school is causing backlash online.

Narvie J. Harris Traditional Theme School is located about 15 miles outside of Atlanta in Decatur, Georgia. As it prepares to open its doors for the 2019-2020 school year on August 5, images have made the rounds online showing which haircuts boys ought not to wear in class.

The post, which the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported has been used in years past, shows several sets of photos of children whose eyes are shielded by Post-It notes. On the left side, “Appropriate Haircuts” where the boys’ hair is cut low with varying degrees of fades are shown. On the right are “Inappropriate Haircuts” where boys’ hair is grown out and designs are shaved into their heads.

Additionally, the image also shows some examples of “Inappropriate Hairstyles” for girls, which include large cornrows adorned with decorative thread and individual plaits with barrettes on them. There are no examples of what hairstyles would be considered so-called appropriate for girls to wear to class.

A viral image depicting which hairstyles are OK for students to wear to class in DeKalb County, Georgia. (Photo via Danayhelena/Facebook)

The picture, which has been shared across various social media platforms, seems to have gone viral after Danay Helena posted it to her Facebook page on August 1.

“🧐🤔🤔Wowzers….so that’s how y’all feel Dekalb County Schools?…Hair is a form of self-expression, shouldn’t be a right or wrong way..😒,” she wrote before naming the school and listing its address and phone number.

In response, many commenters expressed their outrage.

“Umm..Where are the NON-BLACK INAPPROPRIATE HAIRSTYLES?!! 🤨 #Discrimination It’s not what’s ON their head, it’s what’s IN them!”

“Sad as hell. All of the haircuts look neat. And if the little girls can’t wear ponytails, what are they suppose to wear? This is ridiculous. SMH.”

“The anti blackness in this measure Is beyond belief.”

“How bout the teachers & the administration focus on educating those kids & mind yo got damn business long as it not vulgar obscene so cut out the racist bias bulls–t.”

Reacting to the surfaced image, district officials stated the post does not reflect their guidelines on students’ looks.

“The images depicted in this post in no way reflect a (DeKalb County School District) policy regarding appearance,” officials said in a statement. “This was a miscommunication at the school level and is being handled by school leadership. Nontraditional schools at (the DeKalb County School District) sometimes have the option to enforce dress code and style standards.”

According the school’s website, its principal and assistant principals are Black, and the nine-member principal advisory council also apparently has Black members drawn from the parents of students at the 97 percent Black school.

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