A 7-year-old Tulsa girl was sent home form her elementary school because her dreadlocks were too much of a distraction, Fox 23 News Tulsa reports.

Terrance Parker said Deborah Brown Community School officials “hassled” him about Tiana‘s dreadlocks, until he was told his daughter could no longer attend classes. She didn’t look “presentable, Parker said he was told.

“She’s always presentable. I take pride in my kids looking nice,” said Parker.

However, the school told Fox 23 that Parker knew that it had very strict dress-code rules–especially when it comes to hair. NewsOne reviewed the school’s dress code and it clearly states on page 13 that “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable.” Deborah Brown school officials feel the hairstyle could cause distractions, a statement that surprises Parker.

“She went to the school last year and didn’t have any problems,” he said.

When a Fox 23 reporter asked little Tiana why she was removed from classes, she burst into tears. “because they didn’t like my dreads,” she said. “I think that they should let me have my dreads.”

Tiana ended up having to enroll in a new school, where she wears a different uniform but has the same hairstyle.

According to her new school, her hair is fine.

Watch Tiana talk about her dreads below:

25 thoughts on “School Sends Girl, 7, Home Over Her ‘Distracting Dreadlocks’

  1. Deshawna on said:

    I can’t wear my hair any other way. If I took out my dreads, I’d be looking crazy like Bozo the clown. Seriously! lol
    I mean, what are people with hair like me supposed to do? This is not setting a good example on children at all. Most jobs, if not all, would not care as long as people’s hair was neat. There wasn’t anything wrong with that child’s hair. Glad she is at another school and happy. I wonder how they be liking all this bad publicity now. Sad, sad, sad.

  2. I suppose the rules do not apply to the staff but just to the children, as the mother said that a male staff member has dreadlocks.
    The dad said she had the same (dreads) hairstyle last year. The school says that it COULD be a distraction, but if she is a straight-A student, then it was hardly a distraction. Yes rules are rules, however she wore those dreads last year without difficulty and/or distraction. It makes me wonder if a parent complained and/or there was a change in the administration.

    Of course, after hearing multiple stories about several Charter Schools not being accredited, then perhaps the parents made a very wise decision in sending her to a Public School.

  3. Raleigh Delesbore on said:

    Asimilation into the mainstream in this case is ridiculous. I applaud the young sister for not allowing people who don;t like the way they look to make her change. Black is beautiful and always will be. Tulsa, no wonder, those negroes there are lost. You would think with the history of Tulsa(Race riots and all, where half the black businesses were burned down)they would be more amenable and less argumentative about individuality, and protect this young sister. You go girl, hold your head up high. I commend her father for standing up for his daughter.

  4. Man….handle your business !!! Law Suit !!!
    Don’t ever let know one make your baby girl cry She is a Beautiful little Princess and daddy girl.

  5. This kind of thing happens everywhere not just to the African american population. My 10 year old (white) son attends a public school which because of policy required him to cut his normally long hair to a short ” boy style”. His hair is always clean and well groomed but it did not meet with the policy. He was very upset but, a rule is a rule.

  6. truthshallsetyoufree on said:

    Shame on the people who take care of this website. They should have mentioned that it was a black owned and operated school. They purposly lead us to believe that she was being discriminated by whites. Guess if it was a white school they would have used the word white in every sentence. Racism– what more should we expect from Tom.

    • Nunu Tum on said:

      They mentioned that it the school had a predominantly black staff which is why it was all the more perplexing that they weren’t empathetic…listen to the clip again!

  7. Is everyone aware that this is a black-owned and -operated school??? Shame on them!!! The owner/founder, Deborah Brown, has a hairstyle on the school website that’s more distracting than this sweet child’s!!! We are our own enemy oftentimes!

    • No matter how cute the hairstyle may be or how we may think the rule is unfair, a rule is a rule. If the rule was presented beforehand (website, newsletter, brochure, etc.) then that gives you the option of staying and adhering to it or signing up at another school. These parents probably were aware of the rule but wanted to do what they wanted to do. If we expect our kids to follow directions, then we should too. School is for learning and any fashion (hair, clothes, etc) can be displayed at home.

  8. Soooo “Afros” and dreadlocks are against the rules. Pray tell what is an acceptable hair style for black children? Fried dyed and laid to the side perhaps? In the 1800 black women were not allowed in public without covering their hair because it was offensive to white women sensibilities. 1n the 1950’s black entertainers could not appear on stage/tv without processed hair. In the 1970’s braids and afros were banned from school and offices. in the 80’s BK and KSWISS shoes, were banned from school; In the1990’s baseball caps were banned from school wear, in 2000 sagging pants, grills and scrolling digital accessories were banned, in 2013 hoodies against the law. Do you see a pattern starting to form? Black children expressing themselves or wearing their hair in its NATURAL STATE is against the law.

    • Sexy Leroy on said:

      “Dreds” are not a “natural state”; the school made a rule and is enforcing it. What don’t you understand? This is the parents fault!

      • Locs ARE a natural state. Locs have been worn for centuries by all types of people. Before combs and brushes were invented, how do you think people wore their hair? Locs!

      • Seriously? How can hair that grows out of a person’s head a certain texture, that is then neatly coiled, not be considered natural? The distraction is the emphasis the school put on her hair and not the straight A’s Tiana earned. I wonder how many of the instructors with relaxers and weaves pulled straight A’s when they were in school!

    • Well done the historic facts and timeline you displayed is so right I tell you that dad should sue to let them know these black people are the ones who would tell massa where the runaway slaves were going

  9. Rules are rules, if you don’t like them then you should do as Stephanie posted “change them” but not overlook them and do as you please. I blame the dad, parents are responsible for protecting their kids, not setting them up for disappointment and sadness. The “DRESS CODE” was in clear black and white English. Read it dad and mom!

  10. I’ve had dreadlocks since 1986 – or as some of my sisters call them natural hair locks. Some have had them since they were children themselves. The school is uninformed and ascribing to a limited outdated world view in their directives. We fought this battle over natural hair decades ago when people were loosing jobs over hair. If it were a fad – then professors, doctors and other professionals wouldn’t be wearing them. They take years to cultivate and grow well – not a visit to the beautician for an instant new look. I’m glad the student was able to move to another school.

  11. stephanie on said:

    I don’t find them distracting and they are adorable, but the dress code specifically stated that dreadlocks were not acceptable. If the rules are not going to be followed, then the parents should do what they can to have the rules “changed”, not just disregard them. I, personally, think a child is too young to have dreads, but that is just my personal opinion.

  12. Leslielolo on said:

    Dreadlocks are not a “fad” hairstyle and people better get used to seeing them. That school has a racist dress code that eliminates hair dos that are inherently African-American. Shame!

    • How can the school have a racists dress code? Most of the school is composed of Black children. Deborah Brown also sounds Black. I think she’s just trying to keep the school as focused on academics as possible and not on the latest trend. Other schools need to step up their game. We are losing our Black children.

  13. airam26 on said:

    Wow, that is disturbing. I do not see how her hairstyle was the least bit distracting. I could see if they were in tall huge chunks stretching out in three different direction or something like that. But she had hers pulled back and he dreads were small and neat. I don’t get that.

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