LP has been stoushing over whether schools are in the right to exclude devout students wearing a kirpan (Sikh short sword). Are expressions of ethnicity, race, identity and heritage more slippery – or less? What about when the expression is completely harmless and non-threatening? What about when one set of students’ natural bodily attributes are privileged over others – and that set is defined in racial terms?
ETA: another picture of the child which gives a better idea of his natural hair.
A Maryland three-year-old has been threatened with expulsion from his preschool – over nappy hair.
Jayce Brown is an African-American boy with short, natural dreadlocks. Nothing was said when he first enrolled at the school. But the Southern Maryland Christian Academy has turned around and threatened to expel him now, over his hair, claiming that his hair violates this policy:
male students are not allowed to have ‘”extremely faddish styles including the use of rubber bands or the ‘twisting’ of hair.'”
What are kids whose hair naturally twists supposed to do? Women of colour are already spending a huge amount of time, money, and pain getting their hair straightened, or they risk facing sneering and sanctions for wearing “political hairstyles”.
Now the bigots are extending this to three-year-olds. If you’re not the default Aryan kiddo or military-regulation shaved, you get expelled – from PRESCHOOL. World gone mad.
The WaPo writes:
Since the dispute between the Browns and the school became public, the family has received hate mail from other residents. One letter said African Americans are “ruining Waldorf” and instructed them to “go back” to the District and Prince George’s County.
David Rocah, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, said, “I don’t disagree with [Brown] that specific prohibitions on locked hair or twisted hair have a racially disparate impact, but I can’t think of a specific law that would cover her.”
In the newspaper advertisement, Southern Maryland Christian Academy administrators said that they hope the case does not go to trial but that they are confident they would win if it did. Meanwhile, Jayce is attending another Christian preschool in White Plains that has no restrictions on hairstyle.
“He has no idea what happened, but he keeps asking when he’s going to see his old teacher again,” Brown said. “I don’t really know what to tell him.”
World. Gone. Mad.
Categories: social justice