The Lorain Horizon Science Academy in Ohio is facing heat from the natural hair community after a copy of a letter to parents that included a ban on afro puffs and ‘small twisted braids’ was posted online.
The letter details changes to the dress code for the upcoming school year and includes the line:
“Afro-puffs and small twisted braids, with our without rubberbands, are NOT permitted.”
It is unclear what the administration means by small twisted braids, but if they are referring to box braids they are banning a protective style that black girls have worn for generations. Afro-puffs are essentially the black version of the ponytail (when pulled back our hair puffs out instead of laying down), and yet the rules do not have a ban on ponytails for students of other ethnicities.
The Lorain Horizon Science Academy recently released an apology letter due to the outrage and pressure of the attending student’s parents, the letter included many statements but this one in particular spoke volumes:
“By no means did we have any intention of creating bias towards any of our students.”
My twin sister actually brought this story to my attention from at Black Girl with long Hair and I just had to weigh in once I read the entire Lorain Horizon Science Academy ban and apology letter.
As a child who wore afro puffs and braids religiously during my childhood school years, not as a protective style but in saving time for a Mother/Wife who was working full time and attending one of the top universities in the country, these styles were absolutely essential in having a life that was not consumed by hair, especially since I am a twin.
Even if I didn’t agree I could maybe comprehend even on a very miniscule scale if a certain style was banned all together, but I find it very interesting as mentioned above that the actual style of ponytails itself was not banned, but clearly stipulated specifics regarding afro-texture, in which the hair results in “puffs” from a style such as ponytails…even though the Lorain Horizon Science Academy stated ““by no means did we have any intention of creating bias towards any of our students.” REALLY?
I truly wish when an apology letter issued by any facility, administration, company or individual would actually acknowledge their mistake and then address the issue accordingly, instead of retracting a statement as if the consumer or public is incapable of literally reading in between the lines or in this case understand the blatant sentiments expressed. Incredible this is still even an issue that parents, children and adults still have to deal with today!
To view an actual copy of the school ban and apology letter in its entirety click here