Race & Identity
'What's Wrong With Her Hair?': 6th Grader Left In Tears After Being Forced To Leave School For Wearing Braids
Video capturing the incident has gone viral attracting the attention of high-profile celebrities.
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A sixth-grade student attending Christ the King private elementary school in Terrytown, Louisiana, was sent home because of her hair extensions according to the Times-Picayune. Video captured by her brother, Steven Fennidy, showed the moment school officials removed 11-year-old Faith from class.
Since Monday, when the video was posted on Facebook, it has caught the attention of celebrities and activists who have grown tired of witnessing this situation. Just two weeks ago, a six-year-old was sent home on his first day of school because of his locs.
"What's wrong with her hair?" a family member asked an administrator.
Faith cried as she gathered her belongings.
Steven wrote that his sister attended the school for two years with similar hairstyles before with no issue. But now, this new rule has officially banned extensions, clip-ins and weaves, ABC News reports. Students can only wear their natural hair.
Montrelle Fennidy, Faith and Steven's mother, confirmed her daughter was no longer a student and is currently looking for a new elementary school for her to attend.
The school has released a statement refuting allegations of racial discrimination. Stating "Archdiocese of New Orleans schools develop policies appropriate for their respective schools. Christ the King Elementary School has a policy that states: 'Boys and Girls: Only the students' natural hair is permitted.'"
Superintendent RaeNell Billiot Houston said the Fennidys were informed about the dress code violation the first week of school and were given a chance to act in accordance with the "new hairstyle policy." Houston claims the parents removed Faith from school on their own accord.
"The child had her hair re-done on Friday of last week and reported to school today," Houston told local news outlet WGNO on Monday. "The new hairstyle was still not in compliance with the new hairstyle policy. At that point, the parent made the decision to remove her child from the school."
The victim at the center of this is also apparently related to Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta star Tokyo Vanity. She reshared the video on her Instagram page stating the girl in the video was her niece.
Actress Gabrielle Union, rapper T.I. and activist Shaun King have also come to the young girl's defense.
Again I ask, where can we exist? Schools are actually refusing to educate young black people because of our hair. You are not educators. You are the problem. This will not stand. https://t.co/SG3EMqego8— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) August 21, 2018
Christ the King school in Gretna,La. You are deplorable!!! A true disgrace to the very thing your school’s name says it represents. How do you feel that this is a proper representation of what Jesus Christ the King & how he would want us to treat our children? You should be ashamed of yourselves...although I know you aren’t. This young lady is beautiful and her hair is perfectly fine. Unless of course you have an issue with black people’s hair in generally? Or is it that you intended to publicly ostracize & humiliate these young ladies so they’d be ashamed of who they are and how they look... making them feel inadequate because they aren’t YOUR version of beautiful? That’s the only explanations I can conceivably come up with. TO THESE BEAUTIFUL YOUNG LADIES who endured this covert application of bigotry disguised as school policy... I want you to know this... Your hair is beautiful. Your skin is beautiful. Your minds are beautiful. And not only that... you’re so undeniably beautiful & brilliant that you threaten anyone who tells you otherwise, to the point that they’re willing to stoop to levels as low as this to discourage you,so you’ll give up on your goals and never reach the levels of greatness they know await you. Please DONT LET THEM WIN!!! Please Just know the world is full of ignorant,hateful, insecure, inferior, demonic assholes. They want nothing more than to block your blessings by creating doubt in your minds, fueled by the false illusion of you not being good enough. But DONT BELIEVE THAT BULLSHIT!!!! YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH-nah BETTER THAN ANYBODY WHO TRIES TO MAKE YOU FEEL OTHERWISE. FUCK EM🖕🏽FUCK EM🖕🏽FUCK EM ALL!!! and tell em TIP said that... not TI!!!! Parents Please let me know if there’s ANY WAY POSSIBLE for me to be helpful. #HowDareYall #YourEnemyShouldntSchoolYourChildren
The Fennidys are taking legal action and filing a discrimination lawsuit.
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