Deanna and Mya Cook challenged school authority after they were told they couldn’t wear their braids to school.
The 15-year-old girls were punished for insisting on not removing their braids, including several hours of detention, being taken of the sports team, and even being banned from prom.
According to the Boston Globe, The girls’ parents, Aaron and Colleen called the attention of two civil rights groups to the matter – the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the state’s Anti-Defamation League.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a discrimination complaint with the state Education Department, and school officials met with the state’s Attorney General Maura Healey.
The school released a statement saying their policy bans makeup, nail polish, dyed hair, and tattoos, so as to “foster a culture that emphasizes education rather than style, fashion, or materialism.”
But the policy against hair extensions is said to seem targeted toward coloured students, as it stifles cultural expression.
A strongly worded letter was sent to the school from the state’s Attorney General’s office, saying it was investigating allegations that the school didn’t hold white students to the same standards.
Soon after, the school suspended the policy, and later pulled it completely, saying: “Students who are either currently serving consequences, or accruing them, may immediately resume all before- and after-school activities.”
See a video of the girls’ triumph story below:
Photo Credit: Twitter – @chanteelans