Oklahoma School Changes Controversial Policy Banning Dreadlocks

Tiana Parker was told her hair was against school policy.

Posted: 09/11/2013 09:44 AM EDT

A charter school in Oklahoma has changed their controversial school policy that banned dreadlocks, afros, mohawks and other “faddish styles" after facing criticism for telling former student Tiana Parker, 7, that her dreadlocks were not "presentable." 

Tiana's parents then removed her from Deborah Brown Charter School, which has predominantly African-American students, and outrage followed after the story reached the national media.

The school board voted Monday night that students' parents are the only ones responsible for their hygiene and administrators have the right to contact parents about these issues. But there was no mention of hairstyle specifications in the new policy.

School Board President Kenneth James said he apologizes to Tiana and her family, "if any harm did occur" but said the administration did not act inappropriately. He added, "The administration's only desire was to ensure compliance with the existing dress code policy in a non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory manner."

Tulsa World reports:

Terrance and Miranda Parker, Tiana's parents, did not attend the meeting but issued a written statement.

They said no board decision could "change the fact that our 7-year-old daughter Tiana was made to feel that there was something wrong with her appearance, in turn coming home in tears. Even now, we have not been contacted by any of the administrators at Deborah Brown Community School nor has an apology been made to our daughter," the statement reads.

Read full story here.


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(Photo: AP Photo/Tulsa World, Cory Young)

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