Orlando-area Christian School Threatens to Kick Out Black Girl Over Her Natural Hair

Categories: WTF Florida

vanessavadyke.jpg
via Click Orlando
Twelve-year-old Vanessa VanDyke has been rocking a natural hairstyle to Faith Christian Academy near Orlando all year. But when the girl's parents complained that some classmates had been picking on VanDyke for her puffy locks, the school's administration reportedly responded by threatening to kick the girl out of school unless she cut her hair.

"It says that I'm unique," VanDyke, an honor student, told Click Orlando of her hair. "First of all, it's puffy and I like it that way. I know people will tease me about it because it's not straight. I don't fit in."

The staff hadn't said anything about VanDyke's hair all year, but when VanDyke and her parents brought up the bullying issues, administrators trotted out the student handbook. School rules state that hair must be a natural color and must not be a "distraction." Though there are a few examples given -- Mohawks, shaved designs, rat tails -- the definition of "distracting hair" is left vague.

So the school allegedly gave her one week to tame her mane or face expulsion. The school has not publicly commented on the situation yet.

The controversy comes as the natural hair movement has found renewed strength over the past several years among women of color with naturally textured hair, both for cultural and health reasons. Many of the treatments commonly used to straighten hair contain potentially toxic chemicals.

No official word on how God feels about this Christian school threatening to kick VanDyke out over her hair, but sources confirm that God did indeed give VanDyke her curly hair in the first place. Sources further state that Jesus himself wasn't much of a fan of haircuts.

Send your story tips to the author, Kyle Munzenrieder.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

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135 comments
bwarhop
bwarhop

Yes she is cute but to calm things down & protect her cause kids can be mean I would pull back in a pony tail sometimes & also put braids in sometimes to change it some & see if the bullying is really about the hair then if it is still going on then u know. Then they can still go back to school to say it didn't change things & they are just bullies & if they don't still do anything I'd sue & have a better case. The only other thing the school could do is put her in the back of the class where everyone else can see & punish the bullies which would be fair also. But just to be fair I would try showing my daughter different hair styles anyway, that's what most moms do & mine did.

Lucia Otero
Lucia Otero

Is it too difficult to just put it in a pony tail?

clwhisperer
clwhisperer

If kids with straight hair can grow their hair to a certain length, everyone should be able to as well - it should be the SAME for all kids.  If your hair is curly or spiked or whatever,  that should make no difference - the rules should be the SAME for everyone.  And the rules should be that anyone blocking the view of anyone else (for whatever reason - their hair, a hat, etc.) must sit in a space so that they are not blocking the view of others - and that rule should be the same for everyone.  Her parents are paying money to send her to this school, and their money is as green as anyone else's.  She should NOT be asked to cut her hair just because it is a texture that grows up and out instead of laying down flat.  If the administration of this school was smart enough to set the rules up correctly and fairly for everyone, there wouldn't be a problem.  Which leads me to question exactly how high the quality of the education there is - if the adults can't even think of a simple, fair solution to this that can apply to EVERYONE...  Also, no school should tolerate bullying for any reason.  And that should be in the school's rule book as well.  

drakemallard
drakemallard topcommenter

So this school condones bullying but not this young girls natural hair?? how Christian of them and wth is wrong with FL these days. Her hair is absolutely beautiful! Remember in the 80s even white girls had hair like this. LOL But really that is not a Christian school it is not a Christian action.

Rebekka Rymanowski
Rebekka Rymanowski

God made her hair so what's the problem? Don't they believe humans are made in the "image of God". Then she looks like God. Take her out of that snakepit and put her in a real school.

Amanda Ruddell
Amanda Ruddell

so, instead of fostering an environment that embraces variety and creativity (as opposed to bland conformity), the school shows its true colors.

Amanda Ruddell
Amanda Ruddell

But the school didn't have a problem until she reported being bullied.

golfballtx
golfballtx

Its HAIR people!  Good grief.  So many of you are always looking for a "civil rights" fight over the most miniscule things....getting your 15 minutes of fame...all the while teaching your children that rules don't apply to them!  No wonder we have a society of entitlement and ignorance.  Its HAIR!  Decide which is more important, the education you apparently were seeking by enrolling in a private school......or HAIR!  That's the choice..it isn't RIGHTS....its HAIR!!!

Terry St Angelo
Terry St Angelo

It's a private school They have their rules I had to follow them with my kids

Debra-anne Piciotto DiMezza
Debra-anne Piciotto DiMezza

leave her alone and leave this kid in school..i would sue the hell out of the school..who are they to determine what is acceptable or not..this kid is beautiful..would love to see what the committee that drew the guidelines up for the school policies look like.. im sure their appearances would make us hurl....

S Do Na Dio
S Do Na Dio

Same issue w my done and a his spikes. They said it was a distraction because the girls would touch it...they even sent him w his hair wet and combed down one day hm! I was livid and said that I was the one upset and needless to go into details on how this mommy reacted but I made it clear if one more person touched my son and his hair I would take it to a whole diff level! He still wore his spikes from day one when they accepted my $ till the day I took him out no hair style change!

Terry St Angelo
Terry St Angelo

I love her hair but my kids went to private school and the have hair rules to follow If they don't like it she should go to public school That's the facts Jack

Xoo Toth
Xoo Toth

I like it. I think she needs to use a hair pik on it and make it a really huge afro style.

jkrrbass
jkrrbass

Vanessa, you are so beautiful. God is perfect and made the perfect man, shame that humans have sought out many inventions and become beautiful in the ugly. How many people suffering from diseases due to use of chemicals to suit the standards of "beauty" that the world created.

Olenka Miroslava Gayoso
Olenka Miroslava Gayoso

Just put her in the back, but to be honest I wouldn't want to be the one sitting behind her lol. Private schools can do as they please.

Patricia L Watt
Patricia L Watt

Sitting in the front, with that hair during what ever would be mindless inconsiderate. Which is what happens.

Patricia L Watt
Patricia L Watt

Can you & your hair step aside, cant see what's going on.

Alan Dreåm
Alan Dreåm

James Cameron is sueing the girl because her hair spoils the plot of Avatar 2 and 3

Nicolas Miroli
Nicolas Miroli

Well its a private school. Im sure they did the math and figured they would lose more money by kicking the other kids out, than if they just kicked her out. Anyone who doesnt like her hair is fucking retarded tho, its awesome.

bobbywalker
bobbywalker

What about the bullying?  Not one of you guys being rude commented on it? What was she doing wrong? If her hair caused a "distraction" Why did the school wait til bully accusations was brought up? How many teachers sent a letter to the parent beforehand explaining the distraction? 

If anything she is beautiful and that is the distraction. 


Hillbilly Hero
Hillbilly Hero

@Sarah Kate she has a right to wear her hair however she likes ! groomed my ass!! i do not wake up in the morning and prepare myself to impress anyone ! if you think you have to adjust yourself to suit society then you are the problem !!! you are the weakest link !!!

Dayanes Rodriguez
Dayanes Rodriguez

what a sad news .. this girl is beautiful a natural beauty this is the real distraction

Zsa Zsa Nogueira
Zsa Zsa Nogueira

Their stupidities are a distraction from acceptance and kindness.

Teresa Ordonez
Teresa Ordonez

First of all, the school should take the "Christian" part out of its name, it does not fit. They clearly give the bullies more rights than to this girl. I am sure there are kids with streaks of purple, green, yellow hair, but they will oversee that. The girl is beautiful, the hair looks fantastic, and I think the ones who are against of her being so natural and pretty should go and get a life.

Lillian Marquez
Lillian Marquez

two perspectives: One is that the school apparently has no interest in intervening on this young girl's behalf to stop bullying.

Josi Denise
Josi Denise

I mean, boys with long hair in my school had to cut it. If it's a distraction, it is.

Joelle Parra
Joelle Parra

Many of you are missing the point. This is her hair in its natural state. She should be allowed to wear her hair as it grows on her head. That's like if she had a big mole on her face, and the school threatened to expel her if she didn't remove it. The school is ridiculous for punishing her when she is a bullying victim and that's her hair. Not everyone is born with straight hair.

Ron Kerr
Ron Kerr

If she was white you tell her yo brush that rats nest but because NT wants to make it about race you all follow suite. Don't keep the hate alive. Fuck the person who write this article and move on. It's not about race stick together

Jorge Mederos
Jorge Mederos

New Times, you never cease to amaze me with the nonsense you guys pass off as news. The school is ridiculous and even more so, is this newspaper, for sensationalizing this absolutely silly ordeal.

April Fritzinger
April Fritzinger

Crazy!! Leave the girl alone! She's not hurting anyone with her hair is she? ... I went to a super small "Christian" school & the rules were ridiculous. People like making something out of nothing & victim blaming & what not. If you're going to claim to be a Christian, how bout you start acting like Christ would want you to act to the best of your ability?. Christ wouldn't bully anyone, victim blame, talk out of both sides of His mouth, or hassle people for being different. Don't simply talk the talk; walk the walk & quit messin around!

todescu
todescu

Look, maybe is good to search the neutral advice for the Faith Christian Academy.


The Bible which hopefully must be the refference at the school rules...

1 Corinthians 11: 16

Besides, in connection with [the] Lord neither is woman without man nor man without woman.+ 12 For just as the woman is out of the man,+ so also the man is through the woman;+ but all things are out of God.+ 

13 Judge for YOURown selves: Is it fitting for a woman to pray uncovered to God?

14 Does not nature itself teach YOU that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him; 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory+ to her? Because her hair is given her instead of a headdress.*+ 

16 However, if any man seems to dispute+ for some other custom,+ we have no other, neither do the congregations of God.

and for the decency and respect for the kids sitting in the class room and maybe behind the girl with her rebel hair, are ways to solve this issue with the God love and counseil between the School Board representative person and Parents!

the kid must not be use as a scandal ball, and somehow the way her parents send it to the school hair more fluffy style and flowers....behave for the school not Hawaii!

that must not be done with resentments or causing trouble but with willingness to cooperate and understand what exactly disturb the kids when get her attention?

than the girl goes to the teachers and is normal the teachers protect the majority, as protecting a large plate with apples...one can damage others...

let's face the LAWS OF COMMON SENSE OF GOD soo often missinterpreted in rules which have nothing to with them..shaving the hair for nazirenes was a shame...

but is true that the limits pushers have often ..effects..even when appear as innofenssive

Example:Sammy Davis Jr the so named Mr Candy Man or Mr Wonderfull!

arround him people die ..as Marilynn Monroe or Elvis Presley but his worst effect was the dubious friendship with President Nixon ..after a night spend in the Quinny Dorm at the White House, soon the Gold Standard was compromised!

take a look at his credo and conducts..
http://goatfucker.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/gods-of-armageddon-sammy-davis-jr/

So at choosing the school, this familly want to get education, or have some other breacking rules agenda..

and the school make rules based of the Christian Faith or something subtly changed 

as the United nations politics spiritual credo mixing Easter and Vesakh Buddha celebrations?

2 world wars and 1960 rise up Dalai Lama and the Counterculture and the missconduct as visible results...

To make the conduit effect visible in time i propose to you 2 songs and hopefully may see the difference..

The way we where Barbara Streissand
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNEcQS4tXgQ

Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand (Official Video / Out Now)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWhtcU4-xAM

please cake care at the rules and management of the rules with God as etalon of deep care and the best solutions...for long term...

so why not keep a funny distraction at home like this , with simple tricks , ..and the rebelious hair may not obstruct the visibility of the friends during the class...

Layered Twist Around Hairstyle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p-qUeTXJ2g

French Twist into Rope Braid | Back-to-School | Cute Girls Hairstyles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYc8rJe7kTo

hope it helps!

from Alba Romania distance, just a tought

deal with the heart in your palms in order to solve any issues

and hopefully  the response will be thissame..

God love is the greatest!

but as may observe even LOVE  have rules 

just in order to benefit us!

when read ever the Leviticus 18

and compare the socio demographic reports from abuses violence 

familly foundation goes ruined and often people  forget to look in the  good laws mirror of God to prevent unnecessary  hurts..by our spiritual education

as a gate for nothing less than Paradise warranted if we obey some  common sense rules! so in Christ Love and Covenant may leave in peace and happyness all your life wonderfull days!

Forrest Darden
Forrest Darden

Some of you run your mouths too freely on the internet. "Everyone" is watching.

Denise De La Vega
Denise De La Vega

Perhaps what they mean is that it is a distraction from Jesus's glorious hair... in which case they can call it blasphemy and throw in a verse about how one should not worship a false idol, lol!

Denise De La Vega
Denise De La Vega

This is how Christian schools work... Ostracism for the ones that don't fit into their cookie cutter mold and no punishment for the bullies. If they can, they'll throw a bible verse at it, like they did with the gay kids when I attended a Christian school. I have never seen bullying and hate like what they unleashed on an (obviously) gay freshman. The teachers looked the other way. That poor kid didn't even last the year.

Vanessa Phelps
Vanessa Phelps

Does the school promote bullying? The parents go there to speak to someone about their child being bullied and the school in turn bullies them also? School is for learning shouldn't feel like prison nor should it be a discouraging environment.

MeMeMeMe
MeMeMeMe

PS - they should focus on the bullying, not the hair!

MeMeMeMe
MeMeMeMe

are you serious? to me a distraction would be if she had birds living in her hair. that is ridiculous. i would take my kid out of the school for being such dicks. i got detention at a catholic high school for having my shoe untied ( didnt know it was untied ) and my parents ripped me out of that school so fast. thank god!

golfballtx
golfballtx

@S Do Na Dio In other words, your precious baby's hair is more important that a quality education you evidently were seeking at a private school.  Nice example to set....you don't have to follow rules and your education is not as important as your HAIR!!!

tabithamincy106
tabithamincy106

@Terry St Angelo  You keep saying that they have hair rules to follow.This girl is wearing her hair the way it grows out of her head. What is wrong with that.What do they want her to do add chemicals that are harmful, maybe use a hot comb to straighten out her hair. They wouldn't tell a curly haired white kid with unruly hair to change their hair so why she she? Instead of the school dealing with the other kids bullying this young girl they want to expel this honor student because she has a different grade of hair.

TerryDe
TerryDe

@Ron Kerr Obviously race was the main thing in Mrs. Van Dyke's mind when she fought the school regarding her daughter's hair. Come on man.

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