A teen was reportedly sent to the principal’s office because her natural hair was considered “too poofy."
Kaysie Quansah, the eighth grade girl’s aunt, took to Facebook to speak out about what happened to her niece at school.
“I wake up this morning to my sister telling me that my wonderful, beautiful niece was told that she needs to change her hair at school," Quansah wrote. "The principal of Amesbury Middle School TRACEY BARNES told my niece that she needs to put her hair up, gave her a hair band/scrunchie/ponytail holder (whatever you'd like to call it) and repeatedly told her to do something about her hair.”
Her niece “was reduced to tears” while reciting the story, according to the Facebook post.
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The girl’s mother contacted the school and was allegedly told by principal Tracey Barnes, a black woman, that her daughter’s hair was “too poofy,” “unprofessional,” and that “no one would hire her with hair like that,” nor would “anyone buy anything from her” if she worked at a store.
Quansah wrote that her niece was told that “if she returns to school with her hair like this, she would have to stay in the office until she ‘does something about it.’”
“I didn’t see what the big deal was about my hair because it wasn’t bothering anybody,” the girl told CityNews. “I was just doing my work, so I didn’t see why I had to be pulled out of the class.”
The girl’s mother says this is not the first time her daughter has been chastised by Barnes.
The Toronto District School Board sent the following statement to CityNews regarding the incident:
“For privacy reasons, we can’t speak to the details about this specific interaction, but we are aware that the principal spoke with a student about their hair last week. The school and Superintendent are following up with the family to address any concerns they may have. Hairstyles are not covered by the TDSB or school’s dress code. It’s our understanding that this interaction was not about hairstyle.”
Quansah says she wants her niece to learn that “beauty starts from within” and has nothing to do with one's hairstyle.