By excluding some, you are NOT including everyone. When will our society get it?
If your not aware, this week a 7 year old girl from Oklahoma was sent home after the school she was going to said that her hairstyle was “faddish” and unacceptable. She has dreads. And she is cute as a button. However the school requires that all students have hairstyles that don’t include dreads, afros, mohawks etc. The little girl’s family is taking the high road and simply putting their daughter in another school that doesn’t have a hairstyle policy. I am not as politically correct and feel that this school is at best prejudice and at worst out right racist. Plain and simple. This “Hairstyle” policy is rampant all over North America. In the last year schools in Utah and Ohio have also singled out students trying to do good deeds with there hair (growing it out and shaving it as well as colouring it for charity) just to be told to conform to everyone else or suffer the consequences.
Forget for a second that this type of exclusion is teaching kids that to be an individual and to be independent is wrong and that we must conform to what society deems as normal. Maybe it’s me but telling a child she has to be like everyone else is eerily similar to the “Charter of Values” that Quebec Premier Pauline Marois is set to introduce to Quebecois over the next few months. These values include public sector workers hiding their religion by not being allowed to wear items that might tell us which religion you are. That includes crucifixes, yamakas and Turbans. A law that is clearly meant to drive ethnic public workers, that include doctors, out of the province. Jewellery can be hidden while still being worn but turbans, while a symbol of the Sikh faith, also has a practical function of keeping long hair clean and out of way and can not just be hidden out of sight. The reasons that the Quebec government and this school in Oklahoma will give you are almost the same. If everyone looks and behaves the same way, then everyone will feel comfortable and no one will complain. That everyone will feel included if you exclude those that will make others feel uneasy. This is simply a front. Any sane person would recognize that this is simply a way to hide underlining prejudices that people have and our children deserve better. My son will be going to school in another year and I will make sure that his education includes the ability to be an individual and that the other students have that opportunity as well.
By the way, that little girl with the dreads has moved to another school and taken her straight A’s with her. Also, she’s had the dread’s in her hair for over a year. No one is sure why the school decided that now was the time to make a fuss about it.
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