The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, near Boston, has reportedly kicked two black female students off of their sports teams and prohibited them from attending prom because they wore braids in their hair. The twin students Maya and Deanna Cook, sophomore students, said they were told by school officials to take their braids out, by school officials. Colleen Cook, the girl’s mother, told Boston’s 25 News, that the school informed her that students were not allowed to wear “anything artificial or unnatural in their hair.” Cook believes the policy targets students of color, who wear their hair in braids or extensions reflecting their culture.
The girls faced two weeks of daily detention for refusing to take their hair down; then the girls were told they could not attend the prom and were removed from their sports teams. Other parents at the school said the Cook girls are just two of many black and biracial students who have been subjected to daily detention because of dress code violations at the school.
“All the little black children were marched down for a hair inspection, whether they had braids or not, and asked, ‘Are those extensions, are your braids real or not?’” Colleen Cook said.