A handful of students at Durham, N.C.’s School for Creative Studies had planned to kick off Black History Month with a bang by wearing colorful head wraps reminiscent of those worn by many women across the African continent.
However, parents and students are now planning a protest after an administrator told the students that they were violating the school’s dress code and would have to remove their colorful head wraps—sometimes called geles (pronounced gay-lays), and considered by some to be symbols of pride and culture—so that their hair could be seen, WTVD reports.
Dosali Reed-Bandele said that her daughters, who had decided to wear the head scarves to school, obeyed the order in order to avoid trouble. But, she says, she and other parents are now concerned about the message that the order may have communicated.
“Our girls should be able to express themselves culturally, regardless of whether it’s Black History Month or not. They should be able to wear their head wraps,” she told the news station. “It happened to me in high school, but I had to stand firm to my principal and say, ‘This is a part of my culture.’ “
According to the news station, parents, students and others planned to gather in the bus parking lot Monday afternoon outside school, wearing head wraps.
Reed-Bandele said she hopes that Durham Public Schools officials will alter the current dress code so that head wraps can be included, the news station reports.
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