With all these stories floating around the interwebs about hair discrimination and controversies over Black students being forced to cut their hair for various (and arbitrary and racist) reasons, it’s amazing that there are still so-called “educators” out there trying it whit the Black children in their care.
Two Black Twin Cities mothers are understandably outraged that their 12-year-old Black child came home from school one day to reveal that his afro had been cut by his teacher without any parental permission. Neither the school nor the child has been named publicly but, according to CBS Minnesota, the police confirmed that officers were sent to the school behind the incident after the child’s parents arrived looking for answers.
In fact, the boy’s mothers, Daetney and Tadow McReynolds told CBS their son was proud of his hair.
“It was actually growing pretty well, actually he was thinking about all kind of styles he wanted to do with it,” said Daetney said.
So, the question, of course, is what led to a teacher think it was in any way OK to cut a Black child’s hair during class without consulting the boy’s parents. (Or why TF would they do it at all, for that matter.)
And he said, ‘Are you guys going to be mad?’ We were like, ‘For what?’ He pulls his hat off and goes, ‘My teacher and me cut my hair,’” said Tadow explained.
Apparently, the student said he had some kind of breakdown and that led to his hair being cut.
“’I was just really angry, I didn’t like my line-in and I was just mad and I just stared cutting,” Tadow told CBS in explaining what her son had told her and her wife. “‘And then my head was down and the teacher come over and said, ‘Let me fix it for you.’”
What it sounds like is the boy started cutting his hair while having some sort of breakdown and the teacher, instead of doing literally the only thing to do in that situation—which is to call the parents—decided to help by continuing to cut the boy’s hair.
“What made her think that this is OK? if you were going to help my child why wouldn’t you do it the proper way, common sense way, the helpful way? By getting him some real help?” Tadow said.
“Why didn’t we get a phone call and email, a text?” she asked
The parents shared their anger on social media which drew the attention of KMOJ Radio host William Baker, who CBS described as “a long-time public school educator who knows how important a crown, or hair, is to the Black community.”
“It just demoralized him, just take his pride away,” Baker said. “And now his hair is being put in a situation where people are dictating how he should look.”
After Baker called his mobile barber, Barber Big Lew, the boy got a fresh cut before starting fresh at a new school. Still, the fact that this whole thing even happened is ridiculous. Educators with Black children in their care have got to do better than this.