Arriving to her first day of 6th grade at Christ the King Parish School, Faith Fennidy was ready to reenter the halls she had walked through for two years prior. But what she didn’t know was that a change had been made to the dress code, suddenly making her back to school hairstyle a problem for the school’s principal. A notice that was sent to her in class led to the tween shedding tears in the main office, before she was eventually escorted out of the building alongside her parents and brother.
Taking to Facebook, Faith’s brother Steven posted a video of the incident, which has been viewed over one million times — inciting outrage over what racial implications the new rule might have.
“My sister Faith and many little black girls wear extensions. She’s been attending this school for two years and wearing extensions. Over the summer the school has sneakily added in a policy that no extensions, clip-ins or weaves are allowed,” he wrote. “Extensions make the hair easier to maintain. It allows my sister to have access to the swimming pool without having to get her hair Re-done every night. How do you make a policy without even having a discussion. It’s because you don’t care and it’s just one more barrier to entry for black people. This decision is going to affect black children more than white children.”
This particular situation is different from others that have made headlines as a result of schools making guidelines for the way that students wear their natural hair. Most recently, a 6-year-old boy in Florida was removed from his school for wearing his natural dreadlocks. However, this Louisiana-based Catholic school has allegedly said that the fact that Faith’s hairstyle incorporated unnatural hair is the problem.
The Christ the King Parish School didn’t immediately reply to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. However, the Archdiocese of New Orleans released a written statement on Tuesday from Superintendent RaeNell Billiot Houston to WGNO, which read:
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.”
This policy was communicated to all parents during the summer and again before the first day of school, and was applied to all students. Furthermore, the school leadership worked with families as needed to ensure compliance.
School administrators additionally told the network that the family was informed of their daughter’s violation the week prior, when the first day of school actually took place. And although Faith had her hair re-done that Friday, it still wasn’t in compliance with the dress code when she arrived the next week. “At that point the parent made the decision to remove her child from the school,” an administrator said.
People across the country have responded to the incident, including activist Shaun King and rapper T.I.
“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?” T.I. wrote on Instagram. “You should be ashamed of yourselves…”
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