Black UK Girl Punished at School for Braided Heart and Twitter Reacts
On the latest Twitter thread to rock the timeline, a Black mother over in the United Kingdom has called out her daughter’s school for punishing the student based on a “racist” dress code policy, per the Daily Mail. We can drop the quotations. Most dress codes, especially for Catholic private schools, exclude Black hairstyles. The style in question is the popular braided heart.
“My child is banned from the school playground/canteen for her hair, its neatly braided in a natural colour, I gave them a lesson on the history of black womens hairs cultural significance of braiding, they chose violence, @BishopChalloner has a racist hair policy!!!” tweeted Jade Samuels with an image of the neatly cornrowed head of her daughter, Rae.
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The Birmingham school, Bishop Challoner Catholic College, pushed back in a statement, explaining they do allow their students to wear braids but shaved patterns were prohibited. By technicality, braided patterns were folded into the same category. As a result, the punishment is being isolated from their peers during recess and lunch.
Samuels’ tweet reached an audience of 12 million people and received over 26,000 responses - many of which rallied in support of Rae.
Jade this is appalling. Her hair is neat and tidy, tied back away from her face (so safe for science etc) and a natural colour. The only inappropriate thing here is the attitude of the school.
— Emma Williams (@Williamstweet) January 18, 2023
Kmt I hate these policies. How does a child’s hairstyle effect their learning 🤨. It Doesn’t make sense.
— Warlord!! (@DntMakeAScene) January 18, 2023
First of all, her hair is cute af.
Secondly, it is 100% appropriate.
Easy to see the school’s flex on this is a racist power move because nothing about her hairstyle is even close to causing any kind of actual problem.
Do better @BishopChalloner.
— Salem Snow (@Salem4Congress) January 18, 2023
I’ve 3 girls & I’m livid reading this - how freaking dare they???? Did they give any thought to how damaging & traumatising it is to isolate her - not because she’s done something wrong but because of her Afro hairstyle - because she’s Black!
Who is the head of @BishopChalloner?
— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) January 18, 2023
Didn't similar stories emerge last year w/public apologies made w/ efforts to unlearn bias against Black hairstyles in schools? Don't go backwards edu sys. A Black girl wearing an #afro or braids is not a distraction more than any other hairstyle is. Dear oh dear#equality#race
— Ruth-Ann (@ruth_annsvoice) January 18, 2023
Private schools are known to have tighter restrictions on student appearance. However, the last few years of Black hair advocacy behind the CROWN Act have blown the top off the restrictions on braids and afros to expose the gospel truth about hair discrimination: it’s utterly racist and quite ridiculous.
This incident proves the fight against hair discrimination isn’t just happening in America. Wherever there is racism, hair discrimination will follow.
Read more from the Daily Mail:
Speaking before the school issued its statement, Brandwood and Kings Heath councillor Lisa Trickett said it was important for schools to respect student’s identities. The Labour councillor said: ‘Cornrows play a part in a child’s racial and cultural identity. It is absolutely given we are now a minority-majority city and that we are utterly respectful of that.’
Last year the Equality and Human Rights Commission warned schools not to penalise or exclude pupils for wearing their hair in natural afro styles, including cornrows and braids. The commission warned afro-textured hair and hairstyles were disproportionately affected by discrimination. Jackie Killeen, the EHRC’s chief regulator, previously said she wanted to stop pupils being singled out for their appearance.
Ms Killeen said: ‘Every child deserves to be celebrated for who they are and to thrive in school without having to worry about changing their appearance to suit a potentially discriminatory policy.’
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