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A Florida teen was in for a shock when her school asked her to change her natural hair style.
For Nicole Orr, 16, her hair is a point of pride. It’s almost her trademark at the Montverde Academy junior. “People say they love my hair because it’s so diverse, curly and Afro-centric,” she told Fox 35 Orlando.
It never occurred to Nicole that her style would be a problem with school administrators. It was a surprise when the school told her parents that it violated the dress code, Fox 35 Orlando reports.
“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,” Nicole’s father, Eric Orr, said.
Nicole’s mom, Secily Wilson, claimed the young lady felt ostracized for wearing her natural texture. Secily explained to Fox 35 Orlando, “She literally felt, ‘Wow, what’s wrong with my hair? The Caucasian girls are able to wear their natural hair straight. Why can’t I wear my natural hair the way that it grows?’”
When asked what the specific problem with Nicoles hair style was, administrators cited a particular line in the student handbook that left a lot of room open for interpretation.
“It said ‘dread-like’ hair and so that could be ambiguous,” Eric argued, “and it could give you latitude to target a certain person or a certain group so we felt we needed to address the issue.”
Eric and Secily later sat down with the Montverde’s headmaster, Dr. Kasey Kesselring, to get more clarification on the matter.
“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. Not so much the issue of dreadlocks per say,” the headmaster told Fox 35 Orlando.
After some consideration, the headmaster opted to get rid of the problematic line in the dress code. Nicole’s parents are glad they took the school on to make sure that what happened to their daughter doesn’t happen to any other students.
“To know that we were able to help our daughter and all the other daughters or boys out there,” Secily said. “We feel pretty good about it.”