Afro Hair Discrimination in Schools - NYLAHS NATURALS

Afro Hair Discrimination in Schools

A Catholic school has been accused of racial discrimination after a mother complained that her daughter was denied access to the playground and cafeteria because she braided her hair.

In an angry series of tweets, Jade Samuels claimed that her daughter is prohibited from accessing parts of the school.

Bishop Challoner Catholic College's teachers claimed a student's braid, which was a heart shape on the side of her head, was inappropriate.

Teachers at Bishop Challoner Catholic College in Birmingham UK are accused of deeming the child's hairstyle 'inappropriate' because she had braided a heart shape on the side of her head. After speaking with a teacher, she said she did not believe the school was willing to change its policies.

According to an article in the Daily Mail, the school said: 'Bishop Challoner Catholic College is very clear that braids are allowed to be worn in school. If parents/carers have any issues, there are clear procedures in place which they can follow for their concerns to be addressed.'

Here at Nylah’s Naturals, we understand the importance of fighting against discrimination towards Afro hair and Afro Hairstyles. We have prepared a letter for parents to send out to schools explaining why this is harmful and discriminatory, should they find themselves in a similar situation. 

Afro Inclusion Support Letter Download

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9 Ways to Support Your Child if They Experience Racial Discrimination at School


  • Enquire about the school's staff training program:
  • Schools should provide training for all staff on understanding racism and how to effectively combat it. This includes providing information on current forms of racism, such as structural and institutional racism. Additionally, training should focus on the history of minorities in the United States and how those dynamics have shaped today’s cultures. Training should also provide information on how to respond if bias or prejudice is observed in the classroom.

  • Ask for a copy of the school equality and anti-racist policy:
  • You are looking to identify and establish a clear and specific set of policies that outline what is and isn’t acceptable regarding issues of race and racism. This policy should include statements such as “no racial discrimination based on racial characteristics are to be tolerated”, “discrimination against any student based on race will not be tolerated” and “equal access to education is a right for all students regardless of race or ethnicity”.

  • Advocate for Black students:
  • As a parent of a black student, you can advocate on their behalf in the classroom and school community by checking in with teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders to ensure that your child is receiving the best education possible. Additionally, you can attend school board meetings, become involved in advocacy organizations, and speak up when you observe prejudice or racism.

  •  Advocate for change: 
  • It is important to encourage larger systemic changes like increasing resources and inclusion measures within schools that will benefit all students of colour. This can include pushing for funding to support diversity initiatives, advocating for cultural competency training, and promoting cultural awareness activities. Additionally, you should ensure that school policies are explicitly written in a way that promotes the rights of all students regardless of race or ethnicity.

  • Seek out support networks: 
  • As a parent of a black student, it is important to build relationships and seek out support within the school community. This includes finding other parents in the same situation who can offer advice and connect you with resources that may be beneficial to your child. Additionally, you should connect with community members and organizations, such as churches or cultural groups, who are dedicated to educational equity and diversity. These support networks will be invaluable in your efforts to combat racism in the school system.

  • Make sure everyone is involved: 
  • It is important to ensure that everyone in the school community is involved in conversations about racism and discrimination. This includes staff, faculty, administrators, parents, and students. Everyone should be given an opportunity to have their voices heard, as this will create a better understanding of the issues at hand and help foster more meaningful change.

  • Speak out against discrimination: 
  • When you see instances of racism or discrimination in the school community, it is important to speak up and call them out. This will help create a safe environment for all students and demonstrate that these kinds of actions are not tolerated in the school setting by parents. Additionally, by challenging biased beliefs and attitudes, you can help chip away at systemic racism in the long run.

  • Reach out to Ofsted and school governors:
  •  If your child has experienced racism in the school setting, it is important to reach out to both Ofsted and the relevant school governors. You can contact Ofsted directly or use the complaints procedure outlined on their website. Additionally, you can contact the governing body of the school to file a formal complaint and seek further assistance.

  • Contact the media: 
  • As a last resort, you may wish to enlist the help of the media to bring attention to the issue and hopefully pressure schools into making changes. This can mean writing letters or articles to newspapers or speaking on local radio shows. While this may seem daunting, it is an effective way for parents to make their voices heard and ensure that racism is not tolerated in the education system.



    By following these steps, parents can work together to fight for equality within the school system and ensure that their children are receiving a quality education free from discrimination. Doing so will help create a safe, inclusive learning environment for all students regardless of race or ethnicity.

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