toronto teen - poofy hair

*In Toronto, a black teenager is making news because she is being singled out by the school’s principal who says her natural hair is “too poofy,” according to her aunt’s Facebook post.

(Yeah, we’re also wondering what “too poofy” means. )

Kaysie Quansah wrote that her niece was “was reduced to tears” in the principal’s office. The surprising thing we’ve learned is that the principal, Tracey Barnes, is also black.

Toronto’s City News spoke with Quansah’s sister, Teresa, who explained that Principal Barnes called her to tell her that her thirteen-year-old daughter’s hair was “too poofy” and “unprofessional.”

Barnes also said the girl would have to stay in the office if she returned to school with her hair down. Normally, the eighth-grader wears her hair in braids or pulled back, according to her mom. Teresa said her daughter had been repeatedly chastised by the principal before this recent incident.

“I didn’t see what the big deal was about my hair because it wasn’t bothering anybody,” the young girl told City News. “I was just doing my work, so I didn’t see why I had to be pulled out of the class.”

The Huffington Post reached out to the Toronto District School Board for comment on the situation and got a response from communications officer Ryan Bird. He said he couldn’t go into details because of privacy concerns, “but we are aware that the principal spoke with a student about their hair last week.”

He added:

“The school and superintendent are following up with the family to address any concerns they may have. Hair is not covered by the TDSB or school’s dress code.”

Meanwhile, Quansah told City News that she had conflicting emotions when she found out principal Barnes was a black woman. She said that the principal’s negative comments about her niece’s hair seems to her “like it was drilled in [Barnes] when she was younger or when she was growing up and now she’s projecting that onto little black girls that may have reminded her of herself.”

Despite the principal’s views, Quansah said she wants her to niece to learn that “beauty starts from within.”