A Tomball, Texas, teen was reportedly told she could not compete with her cheerleading team because of her curly hair.
Makayla Fallaw, 11, was told that she’d need to straighten her hair in order to cheer with her team at Woodlands Elite Cheer, KTRK reports.
“Just a few weeks ago is the first time I had heard about a special hairstyle,” Jenny Fallaw, Makayla’s mother, told the news station. “I felt like I might make my daughter feel like her hair is not good enough because she's not like other girls."
The concerned mother emailed the team and took a meeting with the cheer director to try and explain the situation.
“It would destroy her hair, so I wanted to explain to them my reasoning,” she said.
Woodlands Elite director Kevin Tonner told ABC News that hair wasn’t the main reason for Fallaw being kicked off the team. Rather, it was her mother’s argumentative attitude and inability to compromise.
“It's not accurate, the team has a uniform and the team has a hairstyle ... to do a straight pony-tail when you compete,” Tonner said. “My wife is a hairstylist. We showed her how to straighten her hair.”
Tonner said the situation “got heated,” prompting officials to ask Fallaw to leave.
The hair requirement, Tonner said, was implemented because it is considered part of the cheer uniform.
“It seems so little or small to anyone else, [but] uniformity on that is half the battle,” he added.