Lawmaker slams school for outlawing traditional black hairstyles; ‘What you just did was insulting’
A Louisville high school suspended its plan to ban certain hairstyles after a protest by students, parents, and state Rep.-elect Attica Scott (D), the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
Officials at Butler Traditional High School had been pushing a ban on cornrows, dreadlocks and hair twists, as well as a mandate that any afros be less than 2 inches high, prompting allegations that the ban targeted black hairstyles.
The move brought about 100 people to a meeting of Butler’s school-based decision-making (SBDM) committee, which contains parents as well as teachers and school administrators to voice their objections. The outcry was not abated, however, when the committee opted to suspend the ban without taking public comment.
“These parents showed up for you to listen,” said Scott, who defeated incumbent state Rep. Tom Riner (D) in a primary this past May. “What you just did was insulting. I can’t believe you did it.”
According to WLKY-TV, the committee also released a statement saying the ban was only intended to cover male students’ hair, which also failed to mollify the protesters.
“I’m a 4.0 student. Straight A’s,” said one student, Chayla Ford. “My grades and test scores help my school’s scores an rankings. I feel that they’re not even caring about me”
However, Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Donna Hargens denied any ill intent behind the ban.
“Everything we do in this strategic plan is about seeking diversity and embracing diversity,” she said.
WDRB-TV reported that the protest at Butler has led five other Jefferson County schools to re-evaluate their own policies regarding student hairstyles.
Watch footage of Scott’s remarks, as posted by the Courier-Journal, below.
Watch WLKY’s report, as posted online, below.
(h/t Atlanta Black Star)