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Massachusetts Charter School Officially Suspends Its Controversial Braids Policy 

According to an official statement from the school's board of trustees, they'll be working to create rules that don't single out students of color. 


On May 15, we reported about the suspension of twin sisters Deanna and Mya Cook from Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, Massachusetts. According to the institution’s dated and discriminatory policies, the 15-year-olds’ box braids went against dress code, which prohibited extensions and hair “more than 2 inches in thickness or height,” such as afros and other styles typically worn by students of color. 

As a result of their decision to wear the hairstyle, both were also banned from a bevy of school activities, including the track team and even prom. 

Thankfully, the outpouring of complaints across social media, as well as a public appearance from the sisters, have forced the school to indefinitely suspend the hair portion of their policy.

During a private meeting this past weekend, the school’s board of trustees officially voted to eliminate the provision; a decision motivated in part by a letter from state Attorney General Maura Healy. Part of her letter called the discriminatory rules “unreasonably subjective or appear to effectively single out students of color.”

Now, according to a statement from the school’s board of trustees, the Cooks and other students in violation “may immediately resume all before- and after-school activities.”

They’ve also vowed to continue working with the Attorney General’s office to “ensure that the uniform policy reflects our longstanding commitment to the rights of all of our students.”


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