Mass. charter school criticized for punishing students with braids

White students have not been disciplined for coloring their hair

MALDEN, Mass. (AP) — The Massachusetts Charter Public School Association is criticizing a school for disciplining and suspending black and biracial students because their hairstyles violate the school’s dress policy.

The Boston Globe reports the association said the policy and enforcement actions taken by Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden “run counter to everything we — as parents, educators, association board members — stand for and teach in our schools.”

Parents say students were punished for wearing braids with extensions, which are prohibited. They contend white students have not been disciplined for coloring their hair, which also is banned under the dress code.

School administers say the ban on braids with hair extensions is designed to “foster a culture that emphasizes education rather than style, fashion or materialism.”

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