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Florida School Threatens to Expel African-American Girl for Wearing Natural Hair

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Vanessa VanDyke

According to ClickOrlando, Vanessa VanDyke, 12, is facing expulsion after being bullied over her natural hair.

VanDyke says that she informed administrators at Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, Florida that students were bullying her over her natural hair; in response school officials deemed her hair a "distraction."

Vanessa, who has worn her hair natural all year long, says it only became an issue once she complained about being teased. 

The academy has a dress code that states: "Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction," and the examples of a distraction include but are not limited to, mohawks, shaved designs and rat tails.

"A distraction to one person is not a distraction to another," said VanDyke's mother Sabrina Kent. "You can have a kid come in with pimples on his face. Are you going to call that a distraction?"

She was given one week to decide whether to cut her hair or leave the academy that she has attended since third grade. The family plans to stick to their decision to wear her hair naturally. 

"I'm depressed about leaving my friends and people that I've known for a while, but I'd rather have that than the principals and administrators picking on me and saying that I should change my hair," Vanessa said. 

"I'm going to fight for my daughter," Kent said. "If she wants her hair like that, she will keep her hair like that. There are people out there who may think that natural hair is not appropriate. She is beautiful the way she is."

The academy's administrators responded to an email about the issue, but did not provide any answers to questions. 

Watch the news report below:

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