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The board of trustees of the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School unanimously voted to suspend it’s discriminatory policy that punished and banned black students for wearing braids.

The Malden, Mass., charter school came under fire recently for its decision to punish two black twin sisters who have been wearing braid extensions to school.

Sophomores Deanna and Mya Cook were given detention and prohibited from taking part in extracurricular activities because they refused to take out their braid extensions after spring break.

Deanna Cook was removed from the track team, while Mya was removed from the softball team and banned from junior prom.

On Sunday, the charter school voted to suspend that provision of the school’s dress code for the rest of the academic school year. The decision was made after the board of trustees met privately to discuss a letter from Attorney General Maura Healey informing them that the dress code policy was discriminatory and unlawful.


In the letter, the office said that Mystic Valley Regional Charter School’s hair and makeup policy “includes a number of prohibitions that are either unreasonably subjective or appear to effectively single out students of color. There appears to be substantial evidence that the Hair/Makeup policy is—at best—inconsistently applied.”

The letter also demanded that twin sisters Deanna and Mya Cook be allowed to participate in all school events.

“The school will continue to work with the attorney general’s office to ensure that the uniform policy reflects our longstanding commitment to the rights of all of our students,” Mystic Valley’s interim director Alexander Dan said.  “Students who are either currently serving consequences, or accruing them, may immediately resume all before-and after-school activities.”


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