Dress codes seem to make the news every time a new school year kicks off, and it’s always a heated issue. What’s fair, and what’s foul? Where do we draw the line with appropriate clothing and styles?
In the case of Faith Fennidy, public opinion seems pretty clear. The 6th grader attends Christ the King Parish School, a private school in Louisiana, and was recently pulled from class and kicked out of school for having hair extensions, which is apparently against school policy.
The entire ordeal was captured on video by Faith’s brother. He shared it on Facebook, where it’s been commented on upward of 23,000 times. In the clip, you can hear parents and school administrators continuing to argue as Faith gathers her belongings and walks outside, crying the entire time.
Faith’s brother broke down the situation in detail in the original video’s caption, and the outrage is nearly universal. See if you agree with everyone’s anger over this situation below.
Faith’s brother Steven was the cameraman, and his description of what transpired is pretty brutal:
“Over the summer the school has sneakily added in a policy,” he wrote on Facebook, “that no extensions, clip-ins or weaves are allowed. Faith got a notice on the first day of class and it’s ridiculous that these schools that we are PAYING for, will go in and make policies without consulting or trying to figure out how this will affect your life or your child’s life.”
As Faith tries to remain composed on the video, Steven helps her gather her belongings. Voices can be heard arguing in the background, presumably the rest of Faith’s family and the school personnel who made the decision to send her home.
The family seems to relent, seeing that this argument isn’t going to be won in the hallway.
During the argument, Steven claims that the administration’s stance wasn’t exactly brilliant. “All the principal could say was, ‘They’re swinging it and things like that.'”
The clip ends with Faith, still fighting tears, getting into the car with her family to head home.
The full clip with the audio reveals fragments of the conversation. Tensions were clearly high, and the video only shows what must have been the end of this argument.
The commenters are mostly of one mind about this one.
There are a few dissenters out there who are saying things like “Rules are rules,” but the overwhelming majority of people who have heard this story are outraged.
As Steven himself points out, this is a race issue: “[The hair extension] decision is going to affect black children more than white children.”
“My entire middle and high school career I was in private school I sat behind a million white girls who would play in their hair,” added Steven, referencing the principal’s statement about “swinging it.” “Re-do their pony tails a million times a day. Nothing was ever said.”
Even if you’re not upset from a racial standpoint, people thought that the school’s priorities were out of whack.
More than the implication that the teachers and administrators are focused on the wrong thing, how about the fact that this girl just lost a day of learning because of an unfair, last-minute rule?
Dress code rules are necessary, of course, but when they’re enforced over something like this, they do more harm than good.
“Extensions make the hair easier to maintain,” explained Steven in the caption. “It allows my sister to have access to the swimming pool without having to get her hair Re-done every night. How do you make a policy without even having a discussion.”
“It’s because you don’t care and it’s just one more barrier to entry for black people,” he concluded.
Hopefully, the school will reconsider its problematic dress code and make education more accessible for all students.