“The school needs some serious diversity training”
We’ve seen way too many examples of systematic racial discrimination in our schools lately, but perhaps it’s just been the same amount of discrimination that’s always happened, and students are more likely to speak up about the crimes that happen to them. Two bright, young twins from the Boston area always enjoyed school until they decided to get their hair braided. That’s when the real ugliness seething behind the teachers and staff of their school came out and they were punished just because of some fake hair.
Making a Family
Colleen and Aaron Cook of Malden, Massachusetts decided to adopt children, and eventually their family grew to have five African-American children; Colleen and Aaron are white.
They’ve all learned to deal with rude looks and remarks over the years, but they weren’t prepared for this particular discriminatory situation.
Out of Code
Two of the Cooks’ children, 15-year-old twins Deanna and Mya, attended Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in the greater Boston area. They never had an issue with their school until they showed up one day with professionally-braided long hair; they wanted to try out the look for the first time.
The next day, they were told that their locks violated school policy.
The Dress Code
The school has a strict policy where nail polish, makeup, dyed hair, and hair extensions are considered “distracting” and are prohibited. The girls were told to remove the faux hair from their real hair if they wanted to escape punishment, but they refused saying that the rule was just discriminatory against black students.
The school did indeed issue the twins detention upon their refusal as well as kicking Deanna off the track team and Mya off the softball team, so their parents took action.