School hair policy receives criticism, claimed to be racist
MALDEN, Mass. (WKRC) - Two students are facing severe consequences after coming to school with hair extensions woven into their braids, something that is a part of their culture but prohibited by the school.
Twins Deanna and Mya Cook have so far experienced six detentions and are close to being suspended. Not only that, but they have been banned from all school activities and are not allowed to attend the upcoming prom.
"I don't know why they are making us suffer so much for something that we're supposed to do for our hair. For something that's our culture," said Deanna.
The Mystic Valley Charter School states in their student handbook that hair extensions are not allowed. The Cook family believes that this statement is biased because it really only affects girls of color.
The girls’ parents have supported them throughout this argument.
"If you don't agree with the policy, what do you do? You have to stand up for it. You have to have a conversation; you have to come to a compromise. That's what adults typically do,” said Aaron Cook, the girls' father.
Mother Colleen Cook believes the faculty does not understand the background in which her family comes from.
"There's no black representation in the administration with the teachers and on the board of trustees, so they don't understand the black culture, the black hair. So we wanted to bring them a little information about that and they just shut us down," she said.
The Massachusetts Charter Public School Association criticized the school for their activities, saying the organization ‘disavows Mystic Valley’s discriminatory policy and its decision to punish students who express their cultural heritage.’
WCVB-TV in Boston tried to get in touch with school officials but did not receive any comments.