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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 But, just one day after the bizarre request got national media attention, the edict was suddenly rescinded and Vanessa now gets to remain in school with her crowning glory as is, according to WKMG Local 6.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.

Girl Who Faced Expulsion Over Natural Hair Gets To Stay At Private School was originally published on

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4 thoughts on “Girl Who Faced Expulsion Over Natural Hair Gets To Stay At Private School

  1. Barbara Trader on said:

    What’s next, will those who have issues with Blacks of any kind, skin color, our height or do some just want us to disappear. Some just want us to change everything about us!!

  2. Minsky Brown, Uk on said:

    What a ‘strange’ story. her hair should be school appropriate. tied back etc.. I am a parent myself of a daughter and I would not allow her to have that much hair free, it looks like a potential hazard, could get caught in anything. I am getting a bit tired of parents stating that their children have been bullied, when its merely one off teasing, which is a natural part of life, or at least it used to be. Then the next step is media attention, honestly its ridiculous. the 60’s & 70’s generation of parents, myself included are in serious danger of producing precocious prima donna brats, who whinge and whine about minor things, when they don’t get to exert the same level of control which the get from us redundant parents. I could not imagine coming home from school and telling my Mom this foolishness, she would have shaved it all off herself. Nonsense!

  3. G. J. Johnson on said:

    Her hair may not be the issue in the long run. This child is being taught that she can fight the system and have it run the way SHE wants. What happens when she decides to push back over a larger issue? Sometimes it is better to pick your battles. If the school did not tell her to straighten her hair, is there some reason her mother won’t just COMB it? I’ve said it before, my mother would have kicked me in the rear for even thinking I could leave the house with a rat’s nest on my head.
    There are such things as dress codes, believe it or not. You join the military or just join the workforce and you learn quickly there are some things you do on company time, and some things you don’t. There is nothing wrong with dressing as she wants when she isn’t in school. Were other students told they were in violation of the dress code for other reasons? If so, then it was not applied randomly. It was applied to a student circumstance. If she is being teased because of her hair there is no reason her mother should not pursue the matter of being teased, and it doesn’t matter why she is being teased. Fight for your child’s right to an education without harassment, but the hair really isn’t the problem. It is a symptom and not a cause.

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