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Rescind the policy that prohibits faddish hairstyles like afros and dreadlocks; and publicly apologize for suggesting that ethnic hairstyles are not as "presentable" as european hairstyles.

    1. Shelley Thomas
    2. Petition by

      Shelley Thomas

      Tulsa, OK

Below is an exceprt from "The Beauty Ideal:  The Effects of European Standards of Beauty on Black Women," published in Columbia Social Work Review, vol. IV:

Clark and Clark (1947) and Kiri Davis demonstrated (in the "Doll Test") that the internalization of racial beauty standards is a societal problem that begins in childhood and has a significant impact on the self-perception and self-worth of black girls and women throughout the life course.  Not only are black women negatively categorized by society for both their gender and race, but they can also be subjugated within their own communities.  This article aims to bring awareness to an issue that, if properly addressed, could positively affect the life trajectories of young black women.  The self-hatred of black women based on European beauty standards is not commonly acknowledged in social work conversations or practice.  Black women need to be empowered so that they can protect themselves against the negative messages that they receive from their environment.


Rescind the policy that prohibits faddish hairstyles like afros and dreadlocks; and publicly apologize for suggesting that ethnic hairstyles are not as "presentable" as european hairstyles.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. DBCS rescinded its policy yesterday and issued an apology to Tiana Parker

      Shelley Thomas
      Petition Organizer
      Tulsa charter school's board votes to rescind controversial hairstyle rule

      By ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer on Sep 10, 2013, at 2:23 AM Updated on 9/10/13 at 3:06 AM The board members of the Deborah Brown Community School (from left) Principal/secretary Aisha Brown, Marvin Gibson, Kenneth James, Paul Jackson and Harold Roberts are seen after an executive session where they voted to change the school's hair and hygiene policy during a special session at the school on Monday.

    2. Langston University and DBCS Agree to Rescind Policy

      Shelley Thomas
      Petition Organizer


      The following statement is from Langston University:

      "Langston University became aware Friday of a matter in which a student was allegedly dismissed from the Deborah Brown Community School, a charter school in Tulsa, Oklahoma sponsored by the University. The alleged dismissal stemmed from a violation of a school policy related to dress code and appearance. Langston University was not involved with creating the policy. After a discussion between Langston University President Kent Smith and the superintendent of the school, Ms. Deborah Brown, it was mutually agreed that the policy in question should be changed. On Monday Ms. Brown will propose a policy change to the school’s board during a special meeting. Smith said he supports the change in the policy because it reflects an important value at Langston University to respect the individuality of students."

    3. Reached 1,000 signatures
    4. Nearly 1000 Supporters and DBCS Still Hasn't Apologized

      Shelley Thomas
      Petition Organizer

      So as of now we are 75 signatures shy of 1000. Your voices are being heard all around the world and in the national media. The sad news is that Deborah Brown still hasn't announced a decision to rescind the policy or apologize. Based on her failure to respond, my question is what should we do next? Many have suggested that the school needs to be sued. That was never my thought, although the Parker family may feel that's warranted. I'd like to know what you think our community should do to protect these fragile little minds and hearts. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

    5. Victory is Near!

      Shelley Thomas
      Petition Organizer

      I am deeply encouraged by the overwhelming support shown from each of you in support of our children. Although I've yet to learn whether DBCS intends to rescind this policy, I'm hopeful that they will. I sincerely believe that our petition has given them a different perspective that is impossible to ignore. Thank you for taking the time to come together as an international village that is committed to the welfare of our children. We have accumulated nearly 800 votes in one day. Irrespective of DBCS' decision, your voices have been heard and I encourage you to continue sharing this cause with everyone you know. Every vote makes a difference. Thank you!

    6. Reached 750 signatures
    7. Keep the Momentum Going!

      Shelley Thomas
      Petition Organizer

      It's lunch time in the midwest and we're already approaching 500 supporters! Based on the comments below, this is a deeply sensitive issue for so many of us and that's precisely why we need to continue sharing this petition with our social network communities, friends and families. I'm cautiously optimistic that DBCS will come around and give Tiara Parker the apology she deserves. Thank you again for all your support!!!!

    8. Reached 250 signatures
    9. Change is Coming!!!

      Shelley Thomas
      Petition Organizer

      Because of you, we now have more than 200 international supporters of this petition, most of which have been added in the last two hours. Let's keep sharing this with our communities and encouraging Deborah Brown Community School to understand the impact that such policies will have on our children and their futures.

    10. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Tierney Jackson MEMPHIS, TN
      • about 1 month ago

      I wouldn't even call these styles 'faddish'. An afro can't be a fad if that's the way your hair grows out of your head. If your dreadlocks have religious meaning or even if that's the way you choose to keep your hair manageable, that shouldn't be deemed a fad.

      People shouldn't be penalized because their natural state doesn't match someone else's natural state. Judging someone based on their hair is just as arbitrary and petty (and should be just as looked down upon) as judging someone based on their skin color.

      It's not a school board or employer's place to tell me (or anyone) that anything that is intrinsically part of my natural self is wrong or inappropriate.

    • Valawaugn McCain ROSEBORO, NC
      • 3 months ago

      Everyone should be bake to show their creativity and self love!

      • 4 months ago

      This only gives kids unhealthy complexes as they are well into their formative years and severely stunts their confidence

    • Jeffrey Dunnigan TWINSBURG, OH
      • 6 months ago

      I feel today children should not be held to the beauty standards exclusive to Europeans.

    • ladasha thames GREENSBORO, NC
      • 7 months ago

      Afros are beautiful and so are locs .


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