Tiana Parker Controversy Continues; Legislators Say Hair Policy Must Be Reviewed

During a school board meeting this week, the Deborah Brown Community School voted to change its policy that banned dreadlocks, afros and other hairstyles.  The previous policy was brought to the public’s attention after 7-year-old Tiana Parker was forced to switch schools because of her dreadlocks. The new policy says only that students and parents are responsible for personal hygiene and that administrators have the right to contact parents or guardians regarding such issues. There are no specifications on hair styles.

According to local Tulsa media outlet NewsOn6.com, the charter school’s policy now states, “The Administration reserves the right to contact the parents/guardians regarding any personal hygiene issues that it believes causes a risk to the health, safety and welfare of the student, his or her classmates, and faculty or staff or detracts from the educational environment.”

Kenneth James, the School board president, said in a statement that it was not the school administration’s intent to harm Tiana or her family and he apologized if any harm did occur.

James said the ban on dreadlocks, afros and other hairstyles was due to health and safety concerns.

Tiana’s parents, Terrance and Miranda Parker, did not attend the meeting but in a statement to Tulsa World, Tiana’s parents said no board decision could “change the fact that our 7-year-old daughter Tiana was made to feel that there was something wrong with her appearance, in turn coming home in tears.”

Tiana Parker, at the age of 7, was an agent of change!


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  • While this is good news, I am still trying to figure out what safety concerns he is referring to. My scalp is a hell of a lot safer now that it is not being burned by relaxer or pulled and smothered by weave tracks. And I can wash my hair more now than I ever good with relaxers, braids, or waves….

  • kia

    Dreads and Afros are a health concern? What about white hair? White kids infamous for damn lice. Shall we bring that up as a potential health risk seeing lice jump from head to head?