Vanessa VanDyke has amazing hair. Point blank. But it’s her hair that may cause her to get expelled from school. Faith Christian Academy in Orlando told the 12-year-old that she has a week to decide if she’s going to cut her hair, straighten it, or get kicked out.
Vanessa has attended Faith Christian Academy since she was in the third grade, but the school’s s code has rules against how students can wear their hair. The handbook reads: “Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction,” and goes on to state examples that include, but are not limited to, mohawks, shaved designs and rat tails.
The distraction that the school is probably referring to when it speaks of Vanessa’s hair has to do with bullying and teasing.
“A distraction to one person is not a distraction to another,” said VanDyke’s mother, Sabrina Kent. “You can have a kid come in with pimples on his face. Are you going to call that a distraction?”
VanDyke said she’s had her large, natural hair all year long, but it only became an issue after the family complained about students teasing her about her hair.
“There have been bullies in the school,” said Kent. “There have been people teasing her about her hair, and it seems to me that they’re blaming her.”
“I’m depressed about leaving my friends and people that I’ve known for a while, but I’d rather have that than the principals and administrators picking on me and saying that I should change my hair,” said VanDyke.
So instead of Faith Christian Academy doing something about the bullies, they’re going to reprimand a 12-year-old because of her hair?
“I’m going to fight for my daughter,” Kent said. “If she wants her hair like that, she will keep her hair like that. There are people out there who may think that natural hair is not appropriate. She is beautiful the way she is.”
Faith Christian Academy, you get the gas face. The distraction in your school are the bullies, not this little girl’s hair.