It's 2016 and it appears as though young black girls still aren't "allowed" to wear their hair the way it naturally grows from their scalp, according to one South African school.
Pretoria High School for Girls is facing some serious backlash after 13-year-old student Zulaikha Patel and her other peers protested the facility for discriminating against their natural hair, which they say teachers refer to as "exotic."
However, while Pretoria High's code of conduct does not specifically say Afros aren't allowed, it does state that "all [hair]styles must be conservative, and neat." And they have strict rules around single braids, locs and cornrows such as specific diameter, direction of the braids and vertical length.
But Patel claims staff has complained about her hair.
"The issue of my hair has been a thing that's followed me my entire life," Patel told CNN on Thursday. "Even in primary I was told my hair is not natural, it's exotic, my Afro was not wanted or anything like that and then the issue followed me to high school."
And the topic has gotten people on the Internet quite upset as well.
The hashtag #StopRacismAtPretoriaGirlsHigh has taken over Twitter for the past week in support of the movement.
I'm reminded of a white woman I knew who was flabbergasted when I told her that hair is political. #StopRacismAtPretoriaGirlsHigh— Sailor Petty 🌙 (@anthoknees) August 29, 2016
Also showing support? Solange Knowles.
I think you are super rad #ZulaikhaPatel— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) August 31, 2016
Go on w ya baaaad self 🌹
An online petition was created as well to put an end to the discriminatory policy.
And it seems as thought the outcry has positively impacted the school. According to the BBC, the alleged racist hair policy has since been suspended.
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