Reverse Discrimination: White kids told they’re the wrong race for wearing cornrows to school
Related Story: School Bans Wrong Race Hair Style
A TEENAGE girl was segregated from other pupils after school bosses ruled she was the wrong race to have braided hair.Stephanie Tudor, 13, was told to spend lunch-time indoors at St Edmund Arrowsmith RC High in Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, because she was wearing braids in her hair.
Her mother Julie has now accused the school of being racist because Afro-Caribbean students are allowed to wear their hair in braids or dreadlocks, but her white daughter cannot.
Julie said the school had threatened Stephanie with lessons in isolation unless she removed the braids. She said: “I don’t think hairstyles should have anything to do with what colour you are. To me everybody’s equal whether they be white, black, brown or yellow, and everybody should have the same rights, especially in a school.” But the school said it had a strict policy on personal appearance that all parents were aware of, which includes banned `extremes of hairstyle’. It added that it does, however, make allowances to look sympathetically on students from Afro-Caribbean backgrounds, where hair manageability is an issue.
Julie, from Ashton-in-Makerfield, said: “To force a girl to study alone, away from her friends, just because of how she’s wearing her hair is disgraceful.”
Stephanie said: “I had to stand up in the school hall during break and lunchtimes as a punishment and couldn’t go outside. I was sitting next to a black girl at dinner time who had braids with more coloured beads than me. She’s allowed, but I’m not.”
St Edmund Arrowsmith deputy head Paul Eyes said: “The code is well laid out and says that extremes of hair will not be tolerated.
“For girls we ask for their hair to be tied back and its natural colour.
“It does also state in the code that we can make allowances for students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and we would fully stand by our decision to allow black students to have braids because they have a different type of hair.
“This policy has been formulated with the advice of bodies supporting equal opportunities and racial equality and also Wigan’s LEA.”
In March 2005, the M.E.N. told how Olivia Acton, 13, was sent home from Middleton Technology School for having a braided hairstyle.
She was told her tightly-plaited locks were too `extreme’ for the strict uniform policy, even though two pupils with an Afro-Caribbean background had been allowed similar hairstyles.
A month later she was allowed back to school without changing her hairstyle.
ARE school bosses right to ban braids on white pupils? Have your say.