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8 July 2010

Product Placement

via Community by javacia on 6/8/10

**Crossposted on GeorgiaMae.com

I have been rocking my natural hair for several years and there are some questions I get sick and tired of hearing: Is that your real hair? How do you get your hair to curl like that? Are you mixed? I could go on forever.  But there's one question that actually makes me smile: What products do you use? Your hair smells so good!

Unfortunately, that's not the reaction an 8-year-old biracial Seattle girl received from her teacher while wearing Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Moisturizing Hair Lotion. 

Charles Mudede, the girl's father, told The Seattle Times, that his daughter, the only black child in her honors class at Seattle's Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, came home from school last month and announced her teacher made her leave the classroom because the girl's hair was making the teacher sick. The girl was moved to the hallway, then another class.

Mudede was left with many perplexing questions: 

Why did the teacher think the problem was his daughter's hair? Why hadn't the school called the parents? How could the girl return to her own class if they didn't first figure out what had made the teacher sick?

What investigation was being done to pinpoint the source of the problem? And, finally, why did the school seem oblivious to the racial overtones of a white teacher singling out her only black student?

On Friday, the NAACP announced it would file a complaint about the situation with the U.S. Department of Education.

The Seattle Times reports that Mudede seemed surprised the situation had reached the point where there was talk of a lawsuit. He just wants answers. 

Mudede, who is black, said he has talked with his daughter about valuing her natural beauty and resisting pressures to straighten her hair in an effort to look more like her white classmates.

"I want her to know she's beautiful," he told The Seattle Times. 

I get having severe allergies. Really, I do. But how can a teacher be so insensitive to the feelings of a student to do something like this? Think of the message this incident will send to this little girl or the embarrassment she must have felt, especially considering she's the only student of color in the class. 

How do you think this situation should have been handled? 

Below is KING-5's report on the incident

Posted via email from the Un-Official Southwestern PA Re-Entry Coalition Blog

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