Black Teen Faces Expulsion Over 'Distracting' Natural Hair

Beauty & Style | Camille Travis | 11/26/2013 | 03:45 PM EST

School administrators have urged the student to tame her hair

An Orlando teen is facing expulsion for what school administrators are calling "disruptive" natural hair, according to WKMG Local 6.

Vanessa VanDyke
says she was given an ultimatum by Faith Christian Academy to cut her hair or leave the private school she's been attending since third grade. As it stands, the teen and her mother Sabrina Kent have no plans to back down.

"[My hair] says that I'm unique," said VanDyke. "First of all, it's puffy and I like it that way. I know people will tease me about it because it's not straight. I don't fit in."

Faith Christian Academy's dress code states, "Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction," but does not specifically clarify what is considered a "distraction."

The honor student and violinist explained that she's sported the hairstyle all year long, but recent incidents of teasing have brought attention to the look and officials have taken action.

"There have been bullies in the school. There have been people teasing her about her hair, and it seems to me that they're blaming her," Kent said. "[...] I'm going to fight for my daughter. If she wants her hair like that, she will keep her hair like that. There are people out there who may think that natural hair is not appropriate. She is beautiful the way she is."

School officials have made no comment on the matter.

What are your thoughts on the issue? Let us know in the comments section below.

(Photo: Courtesy WKMG Orlando)

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