By Sexual Correspondent Andrea Plaid
I could barely contain my rage when I saw this item:
In Seattle, Wash., a white male teacher had an 8-year-old African American girl removed from the classroom. In most cases, children are removed for behavioral and disciplinary issues, which is clearly understandable and acceptable; however, this wasn’t the case here.
The teacher removed the girl, claiming her Afro was making him sick. Naturally, the father of the child, Charles Mudede, was extremely concerned after the incident, and, as a result, the girl, who was the only black child in the advanced-placement class, has missed two weeks of school.
The incident, which occurred at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, was featured on KIRO-TV. The segment showed the hair product the girl used, Organic Root Stimulator’s Olive Oil Moisturizing Hair Lotion, as well as interviews with her mother and lawyer.
Checking out Afrobella’s Facebook page, I found the link to the original story filed by reporter Tonya Mosley, in which she interviewed the student’s mother, the lawyer taking the case, and others:
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.
Someone who reblogged the quote from my Tumblr blog responded that the student’s father, Charles Mudede, has been writing about the situation. Come to find out the white teacher in question was a white woman, not a man as first reported:
[Just] last week, my daughter—who is 8 and happens to be the only brown person in her Accelerated Progress Program class at Thurgood Marshall Elementary—was ordered out of the classroom because her teacher did not like the smell of her hair. The teacher complained that my racially different daughter’s hair (or something—a product—in the hair) was making her sick, and then the teacher made her leave the classroom. My daughter was aware of the racial nature of this expulsion not only because she was made to sit in a classroom that had more black students in it (the implication being that this is where she really belongs, in the lower class with the other black students), but because her teacher, she informed me, owns a dog. Meaning, a dog’s hair gives the teacher less problems than my daughter’s human but curly hair. Most white people do not have to deal with shit like this. Shit that if not checked and confronted will have permanent consequences for the child. Continue reading