A black girl with extensions was not allowed to attend classes at a Terrytown private school because administrators said her hairstyle was against school policy, family members confirmed Tuesday morning (Aug. 21). Their comments on social media quickly gained national attention, including those of rapper T.I. and social activist Shaun King.
Montrelle Fennidy confirmed Tuesday morning that her 11-year-old daughter Faith is no longer a student at Christ the King Elementary School in Terrytown. She was in the process of finding a new school for her 6th grader.
The archdiocese in statement said the girl’s hairstyle violated the Terrytown school’s requirement that all students have natural hair.
A video of Faith, shot by her brother Steven Fennidy, went viral Monday after he posted it on Facebook. In the video shot Monday, Faith is shown in tears as she leaves Christ the King. She’s wearing a school uniform and has her hair styled in a shoulder-length ponytail.
Off camera, a woman can be heard asking, “What’s wrong with her hair?”
In his Facebook post, Steven Fennidy said Faith has been going to the school for two years and wearing extensions. However, his post said, the school changed the policy over the summer and no longer allows extensions, clip-ins and weave.
School officials did not respond Tuesday to multiple calls from NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. The Archdiocese of New Orleans on Tuesday released the following written statement from Superintendent RaeNell Billiot Houston:
Archdiocese of New Orleans schools develop policies appropriate for their respective schools. Christ the King Elementary School has a policy that states: “Boys and Girls: Only the students’ natural hair is permitted.”
This policy was communicated to all parents during the summer and again before the first day of school, and was applied to all students. Furthermore, the school leadership worked with families as needed to ensure compliance.
We remain committed to being a welcoming school community that celebrates our unity and diversity.
Houston told WGNO.com that school officials told Faith and her parents during the first week of school, which was last week, that her hair was not in compliance with the policy and should be fixed.