Child removed from class because of hair product

Print
Email
|

by TONYA MOSLEY / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 6:09 PM

SEATTLE - Bellen Drake still can't believe she's here, at a news conference with the NAACP, fighting to get her 8-year-old daughter back into honors classes - all because of hair moisturizer.

"I couldn't comprehend it. I was trying to make sense of it and it took awhile," said Bellen.

Bellen says late last month, the teacher pulled her daughter out of class at Thurgood Marshall Elementary and into the hallway.

"My daughter reports that she kept saying she's afraid and it's your hair and that she could go to another class for the rest of the day."

Bellen says the school never contacted her about it, but instead removed the girl from her honors class and into a regular classroom.

"This is about the conduct of an adult and the ramification of that conduct by the principal," says Vonda Sargent, the family's attorney.

It was the talk of the salon at Good Hair in Seattle. Stylist Danyale Thomas says singling out a biracial child about her hair in front of her peers is damaging.

"It just seems like with adults and especially in the school system, they'd be aware of the differences culturally and know how to handle it as such," said Thomas.

The district says it cannot comment on the specifics of the incident.

"We're concerned and we're looking into it. Our priority is to get the child back in school," said media spokesperson Theresa Whipple.

Bellen says all she's asking for is a meeting with the district and a chance for her daughter to return to school.

"Everyday she's asking when she's going back to school," said Bellen.

Earlier in the school year, parents were notified that this teacher had allergies. The NAACP plans to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education.

Print
Email
|