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Being the new kid in school is never easy and it can be especially difficult if you’re the only African American in the class. This was the case for a little girl named Sasha who was the only person of color in her first grade class in Rome, Italy.

“Some of the kids made fun of her for her short hair, so she started wearing a hat to school and refused to take it off,” said Sasha’s teacher, Alexondra Purnomo via Facebook. When the little girl finally took her hat off, she had a tiny bun. In efforts to make the student feel more comfortable, Alexondra as well as the Italian teacher Veruska Meloni, put their hair up into a “Sasha Bun”.

They also used the hair style as a teaching tool. “…We talked about being different and it not mattering. Whether we are short, tall, light skinned, dark skinned, blond, brunette, with or without glasses, boy, girl, braid, bun, sneakers, shoes…” said Alexondra. 

She added: Then one by one, all of the girls (and boys!) wanted their hair in a “Sasha bun.” We were able to come together as a class and bring a smile to Sasha’s face after a long, tough week. It gave me chills to see 19 kids come together to help one fellow student.

Upon the virality of the story, PopSugar was able to get an update from Alexondra on whether or not her students have continuously been able to get along. She shared that at times Sasha has still felt inclined to wear the hat and the kids responded by “cheering her on saying, “Ma Sasha, sei bella,” (“But Sasha, you’re beautiful!”)

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