The Miseducation of School, Dreads, Fades and Weave

Recently I saw and read a lot of stories where school systems are telling kids how they should get their haircut. We are not talking military schools or maybe even private schools, we are talking about public schools throughout the nations dictating how a child should or should not have their hair cut or styled.

To play devil’s advocate, school systems set rules on how kids should appropriately dress and act. We all have grown up in such systems where shorts were not allowed, female students could not wear skirts that were too short, and t-shirts were not allowed to have political or derogatory statements and or images. I completely understand that these rules and regulations are crafted to create an environment where learning comes first. But it seems that some school systems are trying to take culture out of the equation.

A majority of these issues are prevalent in white school systems that have a small minority population. Kids of color with dreads, weave, and cornrows are singled out, while white kids with colors and extensions in their hair are not. Now I do want to state that not all school systems with a white majority practice this. So the question remains, why would certain school systems implement such policies? The answer to this is plain and simple, these are present-day efforts in schools to police and “fix” students of color’ hair is a vestige of our segregated past that deemed those of color inferior and the emulation of whites as the route towards assimilation.

A lot of cuts and styles are personal and based on traditional cultures, religions, and family. How students wear their hairstyle should not be a factor or doesn’t affect the way they learn. All kids white or black, each has a sense of his or her own individuality and knowledge of self. These school systems that try and dictate how you should be deemed in a single ‘white’ view of society are missing all of the gifts and treasures that these kids bring in from their culture and family.  

Today school systems across the world share classes via the internet. Kids and cultures across the globe and learn from each other every day. So why would school systems systematically discriminate their own kids and their culture, and then hypocritically reach out across the globe to learn from others?

School systems today should call out students whose hairstyles are not hygienic and or in some crazy way or fashion, might be harmful to day to day activities of learning. These systems should recognize certain cultural trends and embrace them as long as it does not purposely break standard common-sense rules designed to foster a learning environment. Our schools are here to teach our kids and prepare them for a better future and not teach them how to discriminate.


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