Ashanti Scott is accustomed to wearing her hair in a natural style. So the 15-year-old Louisville, Kentucky high school student told ABC News that she was shocked when her school suddenly issued a new dress code policy that banned, among other styles, dreadlocks, twists, Afros higher than two inches, and cornrows (misspelled “cornrolls”).

“I noticed that as you kept reading they added more hairstyles that were natural and mostly worn by Black people,” she told the news outlet. “I’ve worn those hairstyles, so I definitely felt targeted, and I felt like other Black students like myself were targeted, as a whole.”

Ashanti’s mother, Attica Scott, who also has a natural hairdo, immediately phoned Butler Traditional High School, but couldn’t reach anyone after school hours. Scott, a Kentucky state legislator, vented on social media.

She tweeted: “Soooo…my daughter had registration today and let’s just say she’s not happy abt the #JCPS no natural hair policy.”

Shortly after her post, Scott received thousands of replies, many of them from African-American mothers who shared her anger.

Butler High School Principal William Allen, who is Black, told ABC that the policy was misunderstood and was never meant to target African-American students.

“The language for braids has always been in our dress code, and that’s strictly for male students,” Allen said to the network. “There’s never been any restrictions for our female students.”

Still, the firestorm led to an immediate meeting at which the school’s decision board suspended the policy. ABC said some parents and students at Butler were upset that the reversal happened so quickly, because they didn’t get a chance to express their anger about the policy.

Butler’s administrators and board members said they never intended to target any culture. Scott responded that their intentions are irrelevant. What matters is how the policy resonated.

“And the way that it landed for me and my daughter and other students and other parents is that it was offensive, and it was discriminatory,” she told ABC.

Butler’s new policy says students must have “well-groomed” hair kept “at a reasonable length.”

SOURCE: ABC News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter


8 thoughts on “Kentucky School’s Natural Hairstyles Ban Stirs Outrage

  1. Growing up in the 70s “cornrows” were called “French braids.” All black girls wore their hair “French braided,” with the exception of picture day and on Easter. For picture day and Easter, we got a “hard press” and wore ponytails and bangs. Times have really changed.

    • Yep. Hard press. I can still remember that too close for comfort sizzle. Wash, plait, (we didn’t call them braids back then), let those big, pretty plaits dry, unplait, get out that straightening comb and the Royal Crown Hair grease. Sit in the kitchen, on a kitchen chair close to the stove and pray mamma don’t get too close to the scalp. If you happen to get a touch of the straightening comb on the side of your ear, or your scalp, it was all worth it when you looked in the mirror on the way to church and saw those pretty bangs, slightly curled under and that ponytail hanging down the back of your neck. No matter what foolishness we deal with now, nothing can take away our memories.

  2. AMBROCRIMBIE has the same rules, for employees! so crazy that the way you wear your hair is taken into consideration for folding clothing!!!! in the back room of the store at that! now WTF DOES THAT SAY TO ANY OF U?????

  3. African American Woman on said:

    First off, I’ll say what I please…it’s an open comment board that I don’t believe you own the rights too. Second of all, it is stupid for,grown people and parents to get angry that the thing they wanted changed was changed too quickly and they didn’t get a chance to complain???? Grow the hell up and be better role models for the kids they are speaking up for.

  4. African American Woman on said:

    Kates…we are always on the same page…why are we always looking for some dumb stuff to get “outraged” about…I cracked up when I read that some parents got mad because they didn’t have time to express their anger!!! Lol. Stupid people. The things that should cause outrage don’t, but something small and stupid does.

    • Name calling, who’s really Stupid? If it don’t pertain to you and yours, keep it to yourself! Think before you say stupid comments. Praying for you!

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