Butler Traditional High School in Louisville, Kentucky shocked parents when they distributed a dress code that banned students from sporting “dreadlocks, cornrows and twists.”

“We feel that a student’s academic success is directly correlated to appropriate attire and appearance,” the dress code reads.

Kentucky State Representative-elect Attica Scott slammed the dress code and tweeted a photo of it.

“So … my daughter had registration today and let’s just say she’s not happy [about] the #JCPS no natural hair policy,” she wrote on Twitter. #JCPS refers to Jefferson County Public Schools.


“I don’t understand why we’re going to focus on something like natural hair styles when we should be focused on education,” Scott told the Courier-Journal. “They specifically outlined hairstyles that are worn most by black kids. To me, this stinks of institutional racism.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky joined the conversation on Twitter, saying that “singling out culturally specific hairstyles may send a signal to students of color that their very being is a distraction in the classroom.”


JCPS superintendent Donna Hargens released a statement on Thursday, saying her office will provide guidance to schools to “ensure their policies are not obtrusive, do not conflict with Board policy and most importantly do not infringe on the many cultures embraced across our school district.”

Officials have since suspended the section of the dress code policy regarding natural hair.

This is not the first time students of color have been policed for the way they wear their natural hair. Over the years, there have been countless stories of schools and other institutions banning natural hairstyles – from an Ohio school banning afro puffs and braids to high school students being threatened with suspension for wearing their natural hair.

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