Florida teen told afro was ‘too extreme’ to wear at school
When 17-year-old Jenesis Johnson thought about what might get her in trouble at school, she never dreamed it would be her hair, yet that is exactly what happened.
“She said that my hair needs to be fixed, it was not neat and needs to be put in a style. My hair is fixed,” said Jenesis.
She’s in the eleventh grade at North Florida Christian in Tallahassee. She has been wearing her hair like this for the last seven months straight and on and off since grade seven. But just last week, one of her teachers took issue with it, and she did it in front of the entire class.
According to Jenesis, the teacher asked, “How long are you rocking that hairstyle?” At that point, students began asking her questions about her hair routine.
Two days after that, she was called to the assistant principal’s office. There she was told, “your hair is extreme and faddish and out of control. It’s all over the place,” she remembers.
Her school is a private one, and she was told her hair broke the rules.
Jenesis says, “It hurts me. It’s hurting me. For my people behind me, the younger ones, they’re going to have hair like me. Why can’t they wear their natural hair?”
Her mother is also upset at the turn of events. She says, “You might say that it didn’t fit the handbook. But I saw, and what she heard is a woman telling her that she’s not pretty; her hair does fit society.”
Mrs, Johnson went on to say, “I wanted to counteract what was told to her and let her know that, you are so beautiful. Your hair is also.”
On page 42 of the North Florida Christian School’s handbook it states, “No faddish or extreme hairstyles, and hair should be neat and clean at all times. The administration will make the decision on any questionable styles.”
Jenesis and her family were told that she would be allowed to finish the last week of this school year, but if she didn’t change her hair, she was not allowed back and they would give the family a refund.