Another day, another dress code hair policy in need of a change. This time, a Florida teen was caught off guard when she was asked to change the hair that grows out of her head naturally because it was against dress code.
“People say they love my hair because it’s so diverse, curly and Afrocentric,” 16-year-old Nicole Orr told WOFL.
The junior at the private Montverde Academy in Lake County, Fla., said that she is known for her curls but never thought she would be singled out because of them.
“I received a call saying that my daughter needed to get her hair done and she wears her natural and I was kind of taken aback by it,” her dad, Eric Orr, said.
Eric Orr said that a school administrator called and said that Nicole’s style wasn’t in line with the dress code.
“She literally felt, ‘Wow, what’s wrong with my hair? The Caucasian girls are able to wear their natural hair straight. Why can’t I wear my natural hair the way that it grows?’” Secily Wilson, Nicole’s mom, said.
The concerned parents were referred to the school handbook, where one line in particular caught their attention.
“It said ‘dread-like’ hair, and so that could be ambiguous, and it could give you latitude to target a certain person or a certain group, so we felt we needed to address the issue,” Eric Orr said.
Indeed. What exactly does “dread-like” hair mean?
At any rate, Nicole’s parents met with the school’s headmaster earlier this week to discuss the issue.
“My understanding in talking with the dean of students, I think it was more in line with that neat and organized look that we’re going for. Not so much the issue of dreadlocks per se,” Kasey Kesselring, Montverde’s headmaster, told the news station.
But after looking at the policy, Kesselring acknowledged that the line about “dread-like” hair needed to go.
Said Wilson, Nicole’s mom: “To know that we were able to help our daughter and all the other daughters or boys out there ... we feel pretty good about it.”
Read more at WOFL.