A protest was held at the School for Creative Studies in Durham, North Carolina after students from the group Young Women of Excellence were reportedly barred from wearing traditional African head wraps in honor of Black History Month.
According to The Root, the group was told by administrators they were in violation of the school's dress code and may face suspension. They were given the option of wearing the head wraps, or geles, in a way that would make their hair visible or remove them completely.
The dress code policy deems “hats, caps, hoods, sweat bands and bandannas or other head wear worn inside [the] school building" as unacceptable. However, in my opinion (and as one parent states), a head wrap is part of a cultural tradition, and should be given more consideration than a baseball cap or a hoodie.
“It says to me symbolically that our girls—and our boys, as well—have to alter not only their attire but their whole selves in order to seem less disruptive or offensive,” said Dosali Reed-Bandele. Her daughter Nandi, an 11th-grader at the school, was among those admonished. “This is utterly ridiculous, and I am tired of those messages bombarding our babies day in and day out.”
You'd think the school, particularly one with words "creative studies" in its title, would exercise a little more sensitivity when it came to their students' self-expression, especially when the students are doing to pay homage to their own history.
Parents held a mass demonstration Monday, wearing head wraps and singing and chanting in protest. The school responded by saying it allowed the group to wear geles as an instructional tool Monday--which sounds more than a little like placating them--but in a statement, said it's currently reviewing and suggesting revisions to its Code of Student Conduct. Watch ABC 11's report HERE.