7-year-old forced to leave elementary school over dreadlocks

Tiana Parker (courtesy of Fox 23.com)

Tiana Parker (courtesy of Fox 23.com)

Tulsa, Oklahoma – A second grader has been forced to quit her elementary school because of her dreadlocks hairstyle.

Tiana Parker, who wears her short locks tied up in bunches, has now enrolled in a nearby school that does not have a problem with her natural hairdo.

Speaking to a local television station, her father, Terrance Parker, said he was shocked when officials at Deborah Brown Community School “hassled” him about Tiana‘s locks, until he was eventually forced to take his daughter out of classes.

Parker, a barber, said school officials told him his daughter’s hair was not presentable. Though, he said, “she’s always presentable. You know I take pride in my kids looking nice.”

“She went to the school last year and didn’t have any problems,” he added. Although officials told Fox 23 that Parker was fully aware of the school’s dress code.

The school policy at the predominately African-American charter school states that “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable.”

The schools feels these can distract from the respectful and serious atmosphere it strives to achieve.

During the interview a tearful Tiana, a straight-A student, said she could not go to her school “because they didn’t like my dreads.” She added, “I think that they should let me have my dreads.”

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