Bigger Than A Headwrap

The students and their parents in Durham, North Carolina are standing together in protest for the right to celebrate their culture.

Several students who attend Durham’s School of Creative Studies were told by Principle Renee Price that they had to remove their cultural headdresses, known as “geles”, because they violate dress code. The students were wearing the headdress to celebrate their culture for Black History Month. So this past Monday the students and their parents held a peaceful protest in the school’s cafeteria.

“They were told that by it covering their entire head it could be a situation where they may have had weapons,” says Cimarron Reed-Bandele, who’s a parent of a student.

“They’re having to alter who they are in order to assimilate into society and I don’t feel like that’s right,” said Dosali Reed-Bandele who’s also a parent of a student at the school.

The policy of the school is that students are prohibited from wearing headdresses, with the exception of religious or medical reasons. The school also says that the girls failed to ask permission to wear the headdress in celebration of the Black History Month. However, their parents say that this goes beyond wearing it for February, and that the girls should be able to openly express their culture.

The irony in all this is that this school is tailored to nurturing and educating students to be creative through the arts and communication. Why would something as small as self-expression and communicating your culture be prohibited in the school? Shouldn’t that be the first thing that these students learn from a creative arts school?

The parents and students have started a hashtag about the incident on Twitter to bring awareness and get others to voice their opinion. To join the conversation use #ItsBiggerThanAHeadwrap.

Do you believe that students should be able to wear their headdresses to school as part of their culture? Tell us in the comments section below.

-Jenn (@IAmJennDiva)

Leave a Comment