Update 10.25.2009: Thanks again for the outpouring of support! I randomly selected 7 curlies (of the hundreds that responded) to send products/accessories/styling tools to the teacher. As for the rest of you divas…there will be plenty of other opportunities to donate to the cause! Thanks again…you guys are truly amazing 🙂
UPDATE 10.21.2009: You curlies are the real deal! I’ve received more than 70 emails from readers asking how they can contribute 🙂 Nothing short of amazing! I’m working with the teacher right now to see how we can organize this. I’ll be in touch soon!
A concerned, curly teacher writes:
I love your site and I am an avid reader (maybe too much because if I am off task at work it is because I am on your site). I need your help and/or the help of your readers. I work at an elementary school and yesterday I encountered three little girls, all sisters, who had their hair chopped off by their father.
The youngest sister was sent to the office for insubordination because she refused to remove her hood in class. Upon arriving in the office I asked her to remove the hood and she refused and completely shut down. I phoned her mother to see if mom could talk to her and perhaps she could move on with her day. When mom couldn’t reach her, she sent the father to the school. The dad came into the office took the child’s jacket and told her that she needed to straighten up. I was dealing with another student and could only hear what was going on I never saw the child’s hair. Around thirty minutes later I received a call from the students homeroom teacher who said the child never showed up for class and that another student said she was in the bathroom crying. So, I headed up stairs when I found the young girl in the restroom crying. She was wearing another hood she borrowed from one of her older sisters. When she removed the hood I was finally able to see her hair. Underneath of the hood she had about 2 inches of a dry TWA. She burst into tears and all I could do was hug her and try to comfort her by telling her how beautiful she is. I stayed with her for awhile before going to check on her sisters.
The oldest sister was in class and she seemed to be fine. Her teacher however, is also natural and sports a TWA (that she has had for forty years) so, that may have helped. The middle sister was not in the room when I arrived to her class. Her teacher informed me that she asked to use the restroom but had not come back. I again went to check the restroom where I met the middle sister. She was visibly upset but not crying. She said that the other students were telling her that she looks like a man.
I was really at a lost as to what I should do. I mean I had shaved my head twice but, for me it was my choice. I also was an adult when I made the decision to do so, I didn’t have to face the ridicule of other children. I had three packages of headbands in the office so I gave each sister a pack and it seemed to cheer them up a little. I also told them that I would show them pics of my hair when I sported a TWA and buy them some hair products to use but, I feel like I am crossing the line. What line? Well, as educators we are to educate and not parent, but I feel so strongly about this situation. I want to help them learn how to take care of their hair but, at the same time I can barely afford my PJism let alone take on three other heads. Nikki! Please help!
Are ya’ll thinking what I’m thinking? I say we put together a care package, and send it to the teacher to give to the family. I hope their parents will be accepting? Can we do this without any ethical violations? I really want to help! If anyone is interested in donating a product or two, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll gather all the goodies, box them up, and promptly ship it out to her. Between the new products, cute accessories, and positive role models such as this reader and the eldest sister’s teacher, hopefully the girls will be able to re-build their self-esteem.
I called the mom of the girls this morning to ask why their hair was cut. She said it was cut off because the girls were not taking proper care of their hair, and that she didn’t know what to do with it. She said the only hairstyle she knows how to do is a French braid. I am not sure of mom’s ethnicity but she has a silkier hair texture. She said the youngest girl is very tender headed and hates to have her hair combed. She said she would gladly welcome hair advice, accessories, and products. She sounded relieved that someone cares that much about her children.
Alrighty chicas…looks like we’re still on track! Thanks to those of you that have emailed me asking to donate…I’ll be in touch at the end of the work day.