What would you do if a teacher wrote you a note about your daughter’s hair? You’d be like, what the hell, right? We would too. But would you believe us if we told you that a teacher did in fact write a note to a mother complaining about her daughter’s hair? Because it happened.
We’re not sure why, but it seems people can’t, well, stay out of each other’s hair these days. Take the Alabama court who said locs were illegal. Or the South African high school, which had its female students fighting back after being reportedly forced to straighten their hair and not being allowed to wear Afros. In our opinion, a woman’s right to wear her hair naturally—or frankly, whichever we she damn chooses—should never come under questioning. Especially if the female in question is THREE YEARS OLD.
Earlier this month, Chicago mother Tionna Norris received a crazy-offensive letter from her daughter Amia’s teacher requesting that she stop using coconut oil (yes, our holy grail at-home beauty product) on her child’s natural hair. “I understand the necessity of using coconut oil on Amia’s hair, but please do not use as much. The children are complaining that her hair “stinks,” the letter read.
Take a look at the letter below.
What. The. Eff. First off, coconut smells amazing. But that’s not the issue. Amia, who is the only black student in her class, according to a report from CBS Chicago, is not the student causing the issue here. Yes, it’s the children who were bullying Amia and more so the parents of those children, but the teacher in question should have talked to those parents and not Amia’s mother. Instead, she flat out discriminated against the student she should have been protecting.
Even more importantly, she missed an opportunity to do the most important part of her (or any teacher’s) job: educate her students. By asking a three-year-old girl to change her appearance to fit a whitewashed standard, the teacher did a complete disservice to every single one of her classmates. It was the moment to help young minds learn that there is no one definition of beauty, or in this case, a specific scent that’s okay or not.
Watch how Allure and StyleLikeU are trying to dispel beauty myths:
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen schools discriminate against girls with natural hair. In 2013, a seven-year-old was sent home from her Oklahoma school when school officials tried to claim that her dreadlocks weren’t “presentable” and therefore in violation of their dress code.
In response to the totally offensive and inappropriate letter from her daughter’s teacher, Norris followed up with the school administration, who had no report of any bullying. To say we disagree is an understatement. As a result, Norris pulled Amia out of that school—wouldn’t you?