A Carroll County, GA Third-grader recently made news after being bullied for wearing a hair weave to her predominately white school. Aolani Dunbar usually wore her hair natural, but according to her maternal grandmother Dorris Bearden, who’s white, Aoloani wanted long, straight hair. After consulting with hair stylists, Aoloani received a straight blond and pink sew in.
From The Grio:
To make her happy Aolani’s mother and grandmother allowed her to wear a sewn-in weave attached to her natural hair. “I spoke to several cosmetologists who said it wouldn’t be a problem as long as we helped her take care of the hair,” said Bearden.
But from the very first day Aolani’s classmates, egged on by two ringleaders, started to tease her and took turns pulling her hair extensions. Bearden called the school principal the next day and each time her granddaughter complained, she was back on the phone.
“They kept pulling it and pulling it, especially on the playground,” Aolani said in a televised interview with WSB-TV. “Everybody got a chance, and I was in the gazebo sitting there crying because I have no friends to play with that will protect me.”
“On the third day Aolani said one of her classmates pulled her hair so hard she’d heard one of the stitches snap and her head hurt really bad,” said Bearden. She looked at her granddaughter’s scalp and noticed there was a sore on her head which was bleeding.
Bearden called officials again urging for action to be taken but frustrated by what she believed was a slow and inadequate response contacted the school’s superintendent.
According to Aolani and her family, even after reporting the incident to school officials, her classmates continued to tease and pull at her weave for another week. One of the two ringleaders involved was punished with a one-day in-school suspension and the other has not been disciplined, said Bearden.
“On Saturday I noticed her hair had a funny smell so we lifted the hair and noticed some of the stiches had broke,” said Bearden. “When I unbraided her hair it fell out in my hands.”
Her hair had been pulled so hard there was a massive wound on her crown that had no growth.
Aolani is now being treated for cellulitis and has to see a dermatologist regularly.
The Carroll County School district in Georgia submitted a statement in regards to the bullying:
“On or about October 8th, Roopville Elementary School administration was notified of an issue with an 8 year old female student who had long blonde and pink weave extensions. The complaint was that a couple of students had pulled her hair extensions.
The administration immediately investigated and dealt with the students who had engaged in the behavior and appropriate disciplinary action was taken against them. In addition, the incident was investigated by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and it is our understanding from the Sheriff’s Office that no criminal charges have been sought regarding the matter.”