Letter sent to parents at local middle school regarding hairstyles sparks outrage
COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKRC) – A letter sent home to parents at Pleasant Run Middle School about proper appearance for an upcoming choir concert is sparking outrage.
Some parents say the letter targets African American students and their hairstyles. The letter calls for young men to see a barber and young ladies to see a cosmetologist the night before the show.
It also bans specific hairstyles like mohawks and large afros, calling the hairstyles "outlandish." It goes on to say it is preferred that the students come to the show with conservative hairstyles.
"Them sending home something like this is sending a message that it's not okay to show up in our natural state,” Marlicia Robinson said. "My daughter wears an afro to school on a regular basis. That's her regular hair style, she has a lot of hair. It's going to be large. That's just what her hair does, that's what our hair does as black people. "
Robinson’s daughter is in the choir.
The letter also says that dress and grooming code will be strictly enforced and students who don’t comply will forfeit their grade for the choir class.
"I think that it's his first year, he's a black teacher and I just think he didn't want to rock the boat,” Robinson said.
As the letter began to be shared on Facebook, the Northwest School District took notice and posted the following response:
Today we were made aware of guidelines sent home to students for the upcoming chorus concert. This message was not approved by PRMS administration and does not reflect our views at all. PRMS apologizes for the letter. We will address this issue on Monday morning and new communication about the concert will be sent home Monday afternoon.
"I think they should really address the climate here at this school and have some in-depth conversations around cultural diversity. There's no reason why this teacher should have felt comfortable sending that home,” Robinson said.
The concert is still scheduled for this Thursday.