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Hair Life Living

Massachusetts School Punishes Black Girls for Wearing Braids


In a policy meant to unify students, the Mystic Valley Regional Charter in Malden, Mass, has singled out black and biracial girls for wearing braided extensions.  Braids and hair color are included among “distracting” or “expensive” styles that may cause students of limited financial means to feel uncomfortable.

A set of 15-year-old twins, Deanna and Mya Cook, have faced morning and afternoon detention with threats of suspension and a member of the track team was banned from the team when she refused to remove her braids.

“We foster a culture that emphasizes education rather than style, fashion, or materialism,” said Interim School Director, Alexander J. Dan in a letter to parents.

After spring break in early April, the school took aggressive measures to enforce the policy.

The twins’ mother, Colleen Cook, who is white, told the Boston Globe, “They marched black and biracial children down the hall to inspect their hair.”

The girls receiving disciplinary action have refused to remove their braids and instead contacted civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the Massachusetts Anti-Defamation League.

Can you believe this is happening in 2017? Let us know how you would handle this situation in the comments below.


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