*After getting flamed with criticism, an Oklahoma charter school is updating its dress code after telling Tiana Parker that her dreadlocks violated school policy.
7-year-old Tiana and her parents said last month the Deborah Brown Community School in Tulsa and told her that her hairstyle was against school policy. Her parents said OK, if that’s your policy, it won’t affect Tiana because she’s going to another school.
However, the school’s now displaying a change of heart; the school board voted to change its policy that had banned dreadlocks, afros and other hairstyles.
The new policy says only that students and parents are responsible for personal hygiene and that administrators have the right to contact parents or guardians regarding such issues. There are no specifications on hair styles.
School board president Kenneth James said in a statement that it was not the school administration’s intent to harm Tiana or her family and he apologized if any harm did occur.
James said the ban on dreadlocks, afros and other hairstyles was due to health and safety concerns.
In a statement, Tiana’s parents, Terrance and Miranda Parker, said no board decision could “change the fact that our 7-year-old daughter Tiana was made to feel that there was something wrong with her appearance, in turn coming home in tears.”
They said they’ve been contacted by community leaders, civil rights advocates, women empowerment groups and attorneys, and are “exploring all of their options.”
Interestingly the Deborah Brown Community school is nearly 100 percent of its students are African-American.