This High School’s Ban on Natural Hairstyles Is Sparking Outrage

Excuse us, but how is a twist more distracting than a ponytail?

A Louisville, Kentucky, high school is under fire after the parent of an incoming sophomore posted pages from the school’s new dress code, which bans three of the most popular styles for women with natural hair. Attica Scott, whose daughter attends Butler Traditional High School, posted the photos on her Twitter account:

Soooo…my daughter had registration today and let’s just say she’s not happy abt the #JCPS no natural hair policy.

— Attica Scott (@atticascott) July 27, 2016

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The first lines of the “Hair/Personal Grooming” section read as follows:

Hair styles that are extreme, distracting, or attention-getting will not be permitted. No dreadlocks, cornrolls, twists, mohawks, and no jewelry will be worn in hair.

First question: What makes these hairstyles — ones traditionally worn by Black women — more distracting than, say, a high ponytail or a French braid? And if the insinuation that dreadlocks, cornrows (ahem, not “cornrolls”) and twists are somehow “extreme” rubs you the wrong way, you’re not alone. With more than 1,000 retweets, Scott’s post quickly led to an emergency meeting to discuss the policy, and both parents and students weighed in on the debate.

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“That’s our way of life,” student Shayla Ford told Click2Houston. “Because if I don’t have my twists, if I don’t have my cornrows, if I don’t have my hair braided, then I get complaints from the kid behind me that he can’t see.” As a result, the school opted to suspend the hair policy, meaning students will be permitted to wear whichever style they choose when school starts back up in the fall.

Historically, school dress codes in relation to natural hair don’t have a great track record. Just last year, an eighth grader in Toronto was sent home for wearing her hair in a manner that her school’s principal deemed “unprofessional” and “too poofy.” At the time, the young girl told CityNews Toronto that she “didn’t see what the big deal was about my hair because it wasn’t bothering anybody.” Considering kids are in school to learn, let’s take the phot

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[h/t The Cut]