A Florida teen was asked to change her natural hair because it was against dress code policy. 16-year-old Nicole Orr is a junior at the private Montverde Academy in Lake County, FL who says she is known for her curls, but she never thought she would be singled out because of them.
“People say they love my hair because it’s so diverse, curly and Afro-centric,” 16-year-old Nicole Orr told WOFL.
Nicole’s father, Eric Orr says he received a call from the school telling him his daughter needed to get her hair done. “…she wears her natural and I was kind of taken aback by it,” Mr. Orr added.
Eric Orr said that a school administrator said Nicole’s style wasn’t in line with the dress code policy.
“She literally felt, ‘Wow, what’s wrong with my hair? The Caucasian girls are able to wear their natural hair straight. Why can’t I wear my natural hair the way that it grows?’” Secily Wilson, Nicole’s mom, said.
The concerned parents checked the school’s handbook, where one line in particular caught their attention.
“It said ‘dread-like’ hair and so that could be ambiguous and it could give you latitude to target a certain person or a certain group so we felt we needed to address the issue,” Eric Orr said.
Nicole’s parents met with the school’s headmaster earlier this week to discuss the issue the school had with their daughter’s natural hair style.
“My understanding in talking with the dean of students, I think it was more in line with that neat and organized look that we’re going for. Not so much the issue of dread locks per say,” Kasey Kesselring, Montverde’s headmaster, told the news station.
But after looking at the policy, Kesselring acknowledged that the line about “dread-like” hair needed to go.
“To know that we were able to help our daughter and all the other daughters or boys out there… we feel pretty good about it,” Wilson said.