A 16-year-old girl was shocked when she received a call from the administrators of her private school in Florida about her hair. Officials of the Montverde Academy in Lake County reportedly asked the teen to change her hair because her natural style violated the dress code.
Nicole Orr had always been proud of her natural hair and the response others had when they saw it.
“People say they love my hair because it’s so diverse, curly and Afro-centric,” the high school junior told Fox 35.
Although other people at her diverse private school enjoyed her hair, the dean of students felt she needed to change it.
“I received a call saying that my daughter needed to get her hair done and she wears her natural and I was kind of taken aback by it,” her dad, Eric Orr, told Fox 35.
According to Eric, the school explained that her hair was not consistent with the dress code policy.
“She literally felt, ‘Wow, what’s wrong with my hair? The Caucasian girls are able to wear their natural hair straight. Why can’t I wear my natural hair the way that it grows?’” Nicole’s mom, Secily Wilson, told reporters.
When the parents reviewed the school handbook, one particular phrase about hair immediately jumped out.
“It said ‘dread-like’ hair and so that could be ambiguous and it could give you latitude to target a certain person or a certain group so we felt we needed to address the issue,” Eric Orr explained to Fox 35.
When Nicole’s parents met with school’s headmaster Monday, he explained why he believed her hair started an issue.
“My understanding in talking with the dean of students, I think it was more in line with that neat and organized look that we’re going for. Not so much the issue of dread locks per say,” said Dr. Kasey Kesselring, Montverde’s headmaster.
However, after reviewing the hair policy, Kesselring admitted the “dread-like” rule needed to be removed.
Although the ordeal was not pleasant, Nicole and her parents are happy this incident will change the way future students are viewed.
“To know that we were able to help our daughter and all the other daughters or boys out there… we feel pretty good about it,” Wilson said.