Schools' long-standing bans on dreadlocks and afros have drawn sharp criticism from African-American families who say that such policies reinforce racial stigmas and double standards.
AP Photo/Tulsa World, Cory Young
"Why are you so sad?" a TV reporter asked the little girl with a bright pink bow in her hair.
"Because they didn't like my dreads," she sobbed, wiping her tears. "I think that they should let me have my dreads."
It was no isolated incident at the predominantly black Deborah Brown Community School, which in the face of outrage in late August apologized and rescinded language banning dreadlocks, Afros, mohawks, and other "faddish" hairstyles it had called unacceptable and potential health hazards.
A few weeks earlier, another charter school, the Horizon Science Academy in Lorain, Ohio, sent a draft policy home to parents that proposed a ban on "Afro-puffs and small twisted braids." It, too, quickly apologized and withdrew the wording.
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