Florida Girl Faces Expulsion From School Over Natural Hair

ORLANDO, Fl. (WKMG) -- An African-American girl says she may be expelled from her Florida private school if she doesn't change her natural hair.

Like her love for violin, Vanessa Vandyke's hair defines her personality.

But for this private school student, it comes with a cost.

"First of all it's puffy and I like it that way," Vanessa said. "And I know people will tease me about it because it's not straight or anything. I don't fit in."

First came teasing from other students, but now she says school leaders demand she cut and shape her natural hair or get kicked out.

"There have been bullies in the school. There have been people teasing her about her hair and it seems to me that they're blaming her."

Faith Christian Academy has a dress code and rules against how students can wear their hair. The student handbook says hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction.

"A distraction to one person is not a distraction to another," said Vanessa's mother. "You can gave a kid come in with pimples on his face. Are you going to call that a distraction?"

"I'm depressed about leaving my friends and people that I've known for a while," Vanessa said. "I would rather have that then the principals and administrators picking on me and saying that I should change my hair."

"I'm going to fight for my daughter," Vanessa's mother said. "If she wants her hair like that, she will keep her hair like that."

Vanessa was given one week to tame her mane. School administrator's did not respond to requests for comment.


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