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A Black Illinois mother sparked outrage Monday after sharing a note that her child’s teacher sent home complaining that the student’s hair “stinks.”

Tionna Norris is the mother of 3-year-old Amia, who attends Raggedy Anne Learning Center. In the note sent by a Russian teacher named Carol, she claimed Amia’s classmates also complain and tease her because her hair smells from a strong scent of coconut oil.

“I understand the necessary [sic] of coconut oil on Amia’s hair,” Carol’s note read. “But please do not use as much. The children were complaining that her hair “stinks.” If you have to apply this daily — please do so lightly, so the kids don’t tease her. Thank you for understanding.”

Norris posted an image of the letter side-by-side with a snap of her daughter’s fresh-looking curly and heavily moisturized hairstyle. She captioned the photo by confirming that she has no intention of taking the teacher’s advice. She warns the teacher that she going to continue to apply the same amount of coconut oil because “y’all gone feel that black girl magic. Sincerely, unapologetically black mom. P.s. Coconut oil has no stinky smell.” notes that Norris is the only black student her class at the learning center, which adds another layer to the issue. “This is why I make it a point to keep her hair natural and tell her yes she’s different and it’s magical,” she wrote on Facebook.

She also took her cause to Twitter, where she posted, “Ill be damned if I carried a child for 9 months and push him/her out of my body and anybody tell me anything about how to raise my child.”

The photo, which has been shared more than 3,000 times on Facebook, has garnered mixed comments. Some say the mother is missing the point, and is allowing her child to be bullied by not reducing the amount of coconut oil she puts in her child’s hair. BTW, coconut oil does have a scent, and the scent can be enhanced if you apply copious amounts. Others agree with the mom, and have pointed out that the teacher should instead be telling kids not to bully others.

“Why is the ill manner of another child your responsibility? It’s absurd,” one commenter said. “I hope the teacher wrote the other kids parents about being bullies since she’s so damn concerned,” another echoed.

Norris wrote that she and her fiancé went for a sit-down with the school’s director to talk about the issue, where they learned that her daughter wasn’t getting bullied for her hair after all.

“In the conversation she explained the letter was never supposed to be offensive in any way shape or form, no one ever said anything to my daughter, and Amia’s teacher is just a complainer (she’s Russian). We had an adult conversation, and my daughter has many friends, so no I will not be removing her from the school. The teacher is also being disciplined,” she wrote in an updated post on Facebook.

“It was just something the teacher was not used to and thought it was heavy,” she wrote. “Do I still believe the teacher didn’t have ill intentions? Not for a second because the way she tried to talk to me about how she thought my daughter smelled (… she is the only person who felt that way) was absolutely and totally unacceptable, but Amia is deftly my child, her clap back will always be REAL!”

Stars Rocking Their Natural Hair
23 photos

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(Photo Source: Tionna Norris Twitter)

22 thoughts on “Teacher’s Note Goes Viral After Complaining About The Smell Of A Black Student’s Hair

  1. The mom is so self righteous that she refuses to take criticism. Sure, send your kid to school smelling like a hot ham ‘n shit sandwich and when she gets picked on and its brought to your attention pull out the ole “ooh chilt, dont nobody needa tell me how to raise my chitren.” routine. I bet if they didnt bring it up and she came home crying that she was picked on you wouldve blamed the teacher for not telling you sooner. smh.

    Long story short, take a fucking bath instead of complaining that your “natural hair” will get fucked. Maybe if you and your family didn’t smell like the dreams what-donkey-boners-are-made-of then you wouldnt be in this mess.



  2. Miloni on said:

    There is unscented coconut oil. Coconut oil smells dirty to me now with all these ladies using it as a methid to wash rather than take a shower and clean that nasty hair more often. I can’t smell the stuff wihtout gagging and thinking of dirty girls.

  3. RENO2AC on said:

    Coconut oil stinks. Well, we went to school with Sulfur 8 in our hair. Now, that stuff stinks! Someone should have told that Russian teacher that her hair stinks, especially when it gets wet.

  4. Joseph on said:

    The teacher could have handled this differently. Take your letter to another teacher and have them read it to get feedback. Preferably an African American teacher. The second thing, don’t send a note, ask the mother for a face-to-face conversation. A lot of misunderstandings happens through text, emails and letters. The last thing, don’t put this off on the other kids in your class. If they were teasing her about her hair, she would have told her mother.

  5. Arlene c on said:

    I’m 60 years old and started using coconut oil on my hair again. Added my feet my arms my mother’s dry ears. You see where I’m going with this

  6. Too much coconut oil in ones hair can make the oil seem rancid after awhile.
    In addition it causes a build up on the hair and attracts dust and dirt.

    Maybe the Russian chick didn’t mean any harm-who knows?
    What is really up with all these teachers and our children’s hair/hairstyles anyway???????
    I don’t see or read anything about those white kids and their blue, green, orange colored hair!!!!!!!!

    • Except white people actually bathe and use traditional hair care products instead of “well who needs a bath when you can gloop on some lotion…you know, really trap in those smells deep into your hair folicles.”

  7. Mac Ben on said:

    They tried to be nice. Since Raggedy Anne is not a public but private institution do not be surprised when she is asked not to return. Too much of anything goes stink, b!tch!!!

      • Mac Ben on said:

        Mine was a crackhead and died for it in the big crack epidemic of the late 80’s -early 90’s. Too stupid to know better, too uncaring to put family first!! So… yeah she wasnt sh!t like most hood women. Thanks for playing hoe.

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