Less than 24 hours after we learned of the twin sisters being punished for wearing box braids to their Boston-area high school, another Black female student has been denounced for her hair. 16-year-old Nicole Orr, a junior at Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida, was told that her natural hair was against dress code policy.
Orr, who wears her hair in its natural curly state, told FOX 35 Orlando, “People say they love my hair because it’s so diverse, curly and Afro-centric.” Apparently school administrators at the private college preparatory high school in the metro Orlando area didn’t agree.
Nicole’s dad Eric Orr told FOX 35, “I received a call saying that my daughter needed to get her hair done and she wears hers natural and I was kind of taken aback by it.”
What exactly did this school mean when they said Nicole “needed to get her hair done?" If Nicole wears her hair in the state that it grows from her head, what exactly needs to be done? In the student handbook, a line mentioned “dread-like hair” not being allowed.
FOX 35 Orlando went to Montverde Academy to speak directly with the school’s headmaster, Dr. Kasey Kesselring, who’s ironically bald, and he said, “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.”
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Let’s be clear: Nicole does not have locs, which further highlights the ignorance of school administrators who develop student policies, and implement dress codes or rules that ban natural hair, braids and locs. Additionally it appears that the school was instead implying that Nicole’s hair isn’t “neat and organized,” which is another way of saying natural Black hair is unkempt. Double sigh.
Luckily, Dr. Kesselring did admit that the “dread lock” line needed to be removed from the hair policy. Nicole’s mother Secily Wilson also told FOX 35, “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.”