Another day, another disturbing example of a young Black girl in America being discriminated against because of her hair.
According to WILX News, an 8-year-old from Michigan was banned from having her annual school picture taken because her braided bun was dyed red. See, according to officials from Paragon Charter Academy in Jackson, MI, claim Marian Scott went against the school’s policy of wearing only “natural hair tones.”
Yet, Marian Scott’s father is speaking out, saying his daughter felt “singled out.”
“It’s upsetting,” Doug Scott said, crying to WILX News about the treatment his child endured.
He added “All of this is uncalled for, they didn’t even call us.”
“Marian didn’t leave the house, go on the street and get this done on her own, no – she’s 8 years old, we did this ourselves in our own home and there’s no way I felt like this would happen.”
While this may be the rule, Scott pointed out that the punishment for it isn’t clear. That, and while she wasn’t allowed to take the picture, she was allowed to return to class.
“If they would have reached out to us and say come get her…she’s got a hair issue, we need you to change it, that’s not allowed – I would have been fine with why this happened but they didn’t reach out to us,” said Scott.
“They let her stay in school… so if she’s not a disruption to the class, then why is she a disruption to the picture?”
The school claims it sent an email about the policy, but Scott says he didn’t see it, and if he had he would have told his daughter’s mother to not add the color to her hair. But he is glad that people are now seeing what is going on at this school.
In the meantime, the Scotts don’t plan on taking her out of the school and have rescheduled for Marianne to get picture re-taken on November 12th.
Regardless of this rule, it’s problematic that it exists in the first place and as we know, these types of grooming policies disproportionately affect Black girls and teens. But if this makes you upset, please know that there is something you can do about it now.
Right now, in 48 states it is legal to discriminate against natural hairstyles at school and in the workplace. While the state of California passed The Crown Act earlier this year, it’s not a federal law across the board, but it can be if we speak out.
That, and if we sign The CROWN Act petition urging the legislature to vote on it.
Our hair shouldn’t be looked at a distraction, it has nothing to do with learning and punishing Black girls for how they choose to wear their hair has to stop. Now.