Parents and students at a Massachusetts high school are speaking out over what they believe to be discriminatory dress code rules targeting students of color.
Mya and Deanna Cook, 15-year-old sophomores at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, Mass., have each been given detention and stripped of sports team privileges, extracurricular, and even banned from prom for violating the school’s dress code policy that prohibits “extensions.”
“It makes me feel horrible that the school won’t let me wear my hair,” Deanna said. “The school doesn’t appreciate my culture which is my hair and it makes me feel like they just want us out more than just for the reason of our hair. It’s our skin color that they want out of the school.”
The twin sisters have attended the school since kindergarten and in April they got braids with added hair to “embrace their culture and protect their natural hair.” The twins say that on April 25th a teacher noticed the difference in their hair and sent them to have their braids inspected by the school nurse who asked them, “Is your hair real?” The girls say they explained to the nurse they had added real hair into their braids. According to the girls, the nurse told them they would need to take the braids out by the next school day or risk detention.