On Monday, 12-year-old Vanessa VanDyke, who attends Faith Christian Academy in Central Florida, was faced with quite a dilemma.
School officials allegedly mandated that she restyle her natural hair or be expelled for a week. But, just one day after the bizarre request got national media attention, the edict was suddenly rescinded and Vanessa now gets to remain in school with her crowning glory as is, according to WKMG Local 6.
Vanessa has attended the private school for three years and had never experienced any bullying over her hairstyle until now. When Vanessa’s mom, Sabrina Kent, approached school officials over her daughter being taunted by classmates because her hair was not straight, they thought it would be in her best interest to straighten it.
The tween, who loves the texture of her hair, talked to Local 6 about her choice of hairstyle. “It says that I’m unique,” Vanessa said. “First of all, it’s puffy and I like it that way. I know people will tease me about it because it’s not straight. I don’t fit in.”
Kent told the news outlet that the school’s threat of expulsion over her daughter’s hair was not a solution to her daughter being bullied. “There have been people teasing her about her hair, and it seems to me that they’re blaming her,” Kent laments. According to the miffed mom, school officials allegedly informed her that Vanessa’s hair was a “distraction.”
The academy does have a dress code in place which also loops in how students can wear their hair. “Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction,” and the stipulations include, but are not limited to, mohawks, shaved designs and rat tails.
Despite the school’s strict dress codes, Kent is standing firm that her daughter’s hairstyle will not change. “I’m going to fight for my daughter,” Kent said. “If she wants her hair like that, she will keep her hair like that. There are people out there who may think that natural hair is not appropriate. She is beautiful the way she is.”
Faith Christian Academy officials released a statement on Tuesday regarding the hair-raising issue:
“We’re not asking her to put products in her hair or cut her hair. We’re asking her to style her hair within the guidelines according to the school handbook.”
Meanwhile, Vanessa and her mom will be lining up strategies over the Thanksgiving holiday just in case.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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