WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Zion Temple Christian Academy, a private school in Ohio, denied enrollment to two black students because of their dreadlocks.
- Their parents, Christina and Nate Johnson, sport the same dreadlocks and their children just wanted to look like them.
- The parents decided to transfer the children to a public school and said their children would not be returning to Zion even if policies were revoked.
Asten Johnson is denied enrollment at a private school. His parents, Christina and Nate Johnson were informed that because of his dreadlocks, their son would not be allowed back this school year. The couple wears dreadlocks and the children just wanted to look like their parents.
“[Asten] looks in the mirror every single day and tells me how long his hair has grown,” Christina Johnson said.
Zion Temple Christian Academy informed both parents about their policies on natural hair. This month, the school emailed them that their son’s hair is unacceptable. The school’s dress code prohibits male students from wearing braids or design cuts.
“Hair must be cut one inch short,” the email reads.
Christina and Nate Johnson are forced to decide: compliance to hair policies or to look elsewhere for their children’s education.
“What’s disheartening about Zion Temple is it’s in the middle of a black community, and it’s a predominantly black school,” she told the newspaper. “How can you not accept your own people?”
Christina Johnson is disheartened about these implemented policies. She considered discrimination towards black students.
“I just don’t understand how you can be an African American facility that promotes kings and queens in the heart of a black community, and then you discriminate against people who look like the community,” she said.
Cincinnati prohibited discrimination based on natural hair, although the ordinance excuses religious groups.
Meanwhile, Asten said he loved his time in school and mentioned activities that contributed to this, including one where he and classmates planted an oak tree. He summed up his reaction with the word “sad.”
Christina and Nate Johnson decided on a public school district for their children to continue with their education. For their second child, he will be spending time with a babysitter. This unexpected arrangement adds an hour and a half to their father’s commute.
“I’m going to do whatever I need to do for my kids,” he told the newspaper. “It’s just unfortunate because of a hairstyle.”
Source: New York Post