A Georgia elementary school has come under fire for targeting Black hairstyles in a guidelines display that was removed just as swiftly as it was put up.
Photos of Black students at Narvie J. Harris Theme School in Decatur, Ga., were shown in a poster board that was slapped on the wall at the suburban Atlanta school, which tried to illustrate a variety of “inappropriate” haircuts and hairstyles. The faces of the children in the photographs were covered with Post-it notes but their hairstyles ranged from new age box faded to braids, The New York Times reports.
The display went viral after the mother of one of the student’s at the school shared it with Danay Wadlington, the owner of a beauty parlor in Duluth, Ga. She then posted the photograph on Facebook.
“It wouldn’t have looked so bad if they had included other races,” Wadlington, who is African-American, said in an interview on Friday. “Those styles are very popular styles. Who says that our hair is not professional? Our hair is part of us.”
The display was reportedly removed on Thursday, the same day it was put up.
“The poster was the result of a miscommunication relating to appearance rules at the school,” the school district said in an email statement Friday. “Once the district was made aware of the poster, it was immediately removed. In addition, a letter was sent to parents clarifying the school’s dress code and appearance policy.”
The school district declined to further comment on how the miscommunication occurred.
In a follow up email, the district said: “Directives have been given to school administrators. Sensitivity training has been scheduled and will be held at the school. The training will be facilitated by staff from our Division of Student Support Services.”
The backlash over the school’s display comes after several states across the nation, including New York and California, push to ban racial discrimination based on natural hairstyles.