Parents take issue with school text message; call it offensive
BATON ROUGE - Parents and guardians of Redemptorist Elementary students say a text message sent Wednesday by the school's principal is offensive and inappropriate.
The text message, intended for all parents of students in K-7th grade said, "I understand that the boys want to follow the latest fashion trend, however the 'Nappy, Uncombed, Picked/Sponged' look Must Go! It is getting out of hand. If their haircut is higher than 1inch it must be cut."
Kirsten Brooks, who is a parent to a six-year-old Redemptorist Elementary student, says there is nothing wrong with her son's curly hair.
"You're saying that I have to cut my son's hair because of whatever look you're sick of seeing that's getting out of hand?" she questioned.
Brooks' mother, Mary, says when she first read the text, she thought it was a joke and disagrees with the choice of language in the message.
"To say that word, nappy, in a text, let me know that she was a person that just didn't care as far as what she said and I figured if you put it in writing, you'll say it just as well to the children and that's not right," said Mary Brooks.
The Catholic Diocese, which oversees Redemptorist Elementary, says Principal Erica Walker "recently reminded students and their parents of its policy."
The school's policy, printed in a handbook reads: "Boys' hair must be clean and well groomed with a traditional, conservative cut. Hair length in back is above the shirt collar with the front hair length clearly above the eye brows. Sculptured designs or lines, shaved heads, braids, tails in the hair, Mohawks, afros and tinted hair are not allowed. Side burns are not to be shaved above the natural hair line."
The Brookses say the text message doesn't match up with hair lengths and styles the handbook says aren't allowed.
"If she had referred back to the handbook instead of making this a personal issue, I would have felt better about it," said Mary.
"She should have known better than to use those terms... nappy," said Kirsten.
Her young student, who is on the honor roll, says his hair is a form of expression.
The Diocese also says, "We are certain it was not the intent of any communication from the school to be offensive to anyone and we are sure that the matter will be handled appropriately through the proper channels."