September 11, 2013 at 6:59 AM
The politics of race and hair at an Oklahoma school
Charter schools should be examined
Lynne Varner’s recent column reminds us of the importance of culturally appropriate school policies and self-acceptance. [“The politics of a black girl’s dreadlocks at an Oklahoma school,” Opinion, Sept. 9.]
However, when Varner states that “It is understandable why many black parents have trouble trusting and in turn investing in their public schools,” she neglects to tell us that this a charter school, and not a traditional public school.
There are still such examples from some charter schools throughout the country; earlier this year, “Afro-puffs” were banned at an Ohio charter school.
While such school policies are clearly wrong for the reasons Varner states, the problem is political, but not limited to hair. What’s missing is an analysis of whether charter schools should have the right to engage in discriminatory practices, given that they are funded with public dollars.
A full examination of this issue should not be absent from these pages.
Paulette Thompson, Seattle
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