Last week The Horizon Science Academy in Lorain, Ohio sent out the school’s dress code instructions and one very surprising thing stood out to parents: Afro-puffs and braids had been banned.
Now we understand the importance of a dress code as it diminishes socioeconomic differences between students and creates a sense of unity at school. Polo shirts, khaki shorts, ties… we get that. But this dress code in particular has a very strange and seemingly racist stipulation.
Clearly this unfairly targets black students who wear afro-puffs as their version of pigtails and ponytails. Is this a new trend of hair-raising racism as a backlash to the natural hair movement?
After a very public outcry from parents across the country, Horizon Science Academy has apologized and rescinded its intention to ban afro puffs and braids. This follows Paula Deen’s awkward apology (well, two apologies) for creating a racially insensitive workplace and using racial epithets. Perhaps the school realized how much trouble they could face if they didn’t change the policy.
The school released a statement and sent parents the following letter. But does this solve the problem? Did they simply do quick damage control to avoid a Paula Deen-style blow up? Or does the school recognize its discriminatory action?