You Do Not Need Perm Or European Hair Styles To Be Educated, Worthy, Productive Or Successful – Do Not Attempt To Penalize Or Hurt Children For Preserving & Loving What Is Natural To Them
Pictured is Tayjha Deleveaux, a young, beautiful and intelligent student of CR Walker who is currently under administrative pressure in her school because of her natural hair – brought to tears on campus due to how she was reportedly spoken to by the school’s Principal on this issue. Her mother is pictured in this screenshot holding up a picture of her daughter. Children wearing their natural hair have reportedly been told not to return to school this coming Monday with their natural hairstyles, and Tayjha and her mother are now in fear of the child’s School Prefect nomination being stripped simply because of the child’s natural hair. Students on the campus have even held a silent protest due to the nature of this issue.
In a news report, the Principal of the school claimed that she considers this natural style to be “ungroomed”. Now, I am all for following lawful and fair rules, and I mean no disrespect to the Principal involved in this matter, but if this position is truly based on a defined rule, then this rule needs to be revisited immediately. What is it about this natural style (known as an Afro Puff) that is “ungroomed”? What does “ungroomed” mean in this situation? Not permed? Not pressed? Not flat-ironed? Not chemically treated? What is it about our natural hair that some of us still consider to be undesirable, unattractive or inferior? And more importantly, how does this hairstyle or styles like it in any way negatively impact the learning environment at the school, a teacher’s ability to teach or a student’s ability to learn and excel? Why reportedly threaten to interrupt a child’s education or upset a child’s learning environment because of your personal preferences or prejudices? In this news report, the Principal also reportedly claims that her decision is based on wanting students to be prepped for the workplace. With all due respect, which workplace is the Principal talking about? If the Principal believes that one of the more pressing problems with our workforce in The Bahamas is whether a woman has her hair permed or pressed or not, then perhaps some of the more prevailing mindsets in our educational system with respect to this issue also need to be critically examined.
Education, in its purest sense, is about enhancing and developing THE WHOLE PERSON. When we try to teach a person that what is natural to them is somehow wrong or undesirable or inferior or unworthy, THAT IS CALLED MIS-EDUCATION. And mis-education in so many forms in this world is a key reason we see so much going wrong in this world. When we try to teach children that what they are is not good enough or is intrinsically inferior, we cut to that child’s heart and his or her spirit. We are telling them the God who made them made a mistake. We are telling them that when they look in the mirror, they should not love, appreciate and value what they see.
Throughout the ages, persons of African descent have been taught and told that what is natural to us is ugly, inferior and undesirable – whether it is our hair or our lips or our skin color. And sadly, many of us are still holding onto the brainwashing that we have been subjected to in this regard. We still believe there is such a thing as “good” or “bad” hair. We believe straight hair equals beauty and kinky hair is ugly and unattractive. And we are destroying our natural hair to achieve straight-hair looks, trying to kill what we are being told is “bad’. Many of us live with such deep-rooted self-hate that we do not even understand it to be self-hate, we believe it to be the right way. My post is not about trying to beat up on the Principal of CR Walker. It is about calling attention to a mindset and decision in our public school system that I believe is offensive, irresponsible and frankly, absurd. Since when does either lye or calcium hydroxide (the active chemicals in perm) sharpen brain cells? If a child is going to suffer a punishment or penalty by a school’s administration, it needs to be that the child’s behavior creates an unsafe or nonconducive learning environment in a school setting.
We should never be so reckless with a child’s learning as to interrupt, disturb or taint it through our subjective prejudices and preferences. And we should never be so reckless as authority figures with a child’s spirit as to break or wound it due to our own personal issues. If a person chooses to press or perm or otherwise chemically treat their hair, that is their right. But that decision does not make them or the way they look, superior or more worthy of acceptance or due reward. LEAVE THESE STUDENTS ALONE. LET THEM ACQUIRE WHAT THEY HAVE EARNED ACADEMICALLY, AND LET THEM LIVE, LEARN AND MOST IMPORTANTLY – LOVE THEMSELVES. #SupportThePuff