Should Students Be Suspended For Wearing Head Wraps In Celebration Of Black History Month?

nc-headwrapsI read an article earlier today where a group of black students at the School of Creative Studies in Durham NC were threatened with suspension because they wanted to wear African Geles to school for the month of February.

One of the parents, Afiya Carter, said that her 15 yr old daughter and members of her class were told they would be suspended for violating the dress code of the North Carolina School.

Via The Grio

According to the cited policy, “hats, caps, hoods, sweat bands and bandannas or other head wear worn inside [the] school building” are impermissible, with no exceptions being made for garments worn in with cultural or religious significance.

Monday, parents gathered at the school to chant in protest against Durham County Schools’ dress code policy.

“This is not right. This is not fair. We will not stand for it,” Carter says. “This is about supporting these young people and letting them know that their cultural expression is something to be valued, and value other people’s cultural expressions.”

“It says to me symbolically that our girls — and our boys, as well — have to alter not only their attire, but their whole selves in order to seem less disruptive or offensive,” said Dosali Reed-Bandele, whose daughter was among those reprimanded. “This is utterly ridiculous and I am tired of those messages bombarding our babies day in and day out.”

School officials have since responded with the following:

“I have heard the concerns of parents and community members who feel our policy prohibiting hats and head wear is too strict or that it infringes on student’s cultural expression.

I understand their concerns and assure them that I will share their thoughts with the committee that is currently reviewing and suggesting revisions to our Code of Student Conduct.

In the meantime, I appreciate both the initiative shown by the young women at SCS and the school’s willingness to give these student leaders an opportunity to incorporate their ideas into a school-wide program. The gele, its history and how to wear it are now part of the school’s Black History Month activities for both middle school and high school students.

I can also tell you that SCS had an extensive schedule of Black History Month programs already. Daily seminars for high school students and other activities in middle school. But after meeting with the young women and incorporating their ideas, they’ve added themed Mondays and a Black History announcement as part of the morning messages. The members of the Young Women of Excellence group will be the ones making those announcements.”

Coming from a Catholic School on a small island, we wore a uniform and there were strict rules about how that uniform should be worn by all the girls who attended. We celebrated holidays with one or two days out of the year where we all wore something in celebration of a unified culture.

These days things are a bit different, I do appreciate the compromise of one day a week especially when Black History month is very much a celebration of all aspects of black culture especially through education. What do you think, should the girls be allowed to wear their head wraps all month long?

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.


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Lana PittsTina WatersKhadine PessoaYolanda HillBathscheba Duronvil Recent comment authors
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Jeanette Jeannie Stanley

No these young ladies should have the right to wear them anytime….especially for Black History Month

Keetah Travels Hudson

Why bother them

Janette Thomas Theediva

Not at all!

Michelle Palmer

No they would not ask a Muslim. To remove thier head dress. Pls it is just cloth and it is beautiful you are not indangering anyone or hurting one by wearing it.

Lerkeshia Littlejohn

My daughter was

Jeanette Jeannie Stanley

I apologize for the ignorant people behind the suspension. That is just crazy…

April Simms

I plead the blood of Jesus,I would file a lawsuit

Liberated Lanski

Why should they be suspended? Not sure why this is an issue

Charity Gilbert


Abrilla Robinson


Lisa Martinez

Hell No!!! Keep Your Wraps On Queens!!!

Gladstone Taylor


Esther Bozho

I think the dress code for school should be followed throughout the year… ..but I have nothing against them and I am BLACK.

Tiana Lee Kai

But if Muslims and other ppl can wear their cultural outfits regardless of school dress codes why not black ppl?

Denise McGee

Hell no they dont care about that wet dog hair they wear

Emmerald L Goldsby

it’s our cultural so why should anyone have something to say if you want to wear a wrap ok I need these people to come up with a plan to end violence and hunger in the United State, homes for the homeless. like really find a better battle to fight worth fighting

Tre Richardson

Nope, at one point in time we were forced to wear them

April Simms

No,why are people so ignorant like really,it’s bigger things to be concerned about

Chrissy Storm Maze


Anette Sanders

They don’t bother the Muslims about their head wraps, why bother us? Oh that’s right we’re not allowed to show pride

KissKiss Kae-kae

Should Muslims be suspended for wearing religious wraps??? Or Chinese for wears cultural dress y they insist on oppressing the black nation

Hindala Jones

NO I am so sick of people trying to tell other people that they cannot wear things that are part of there culture there simbol of who they are. what are the women of the world standford wifes.

Courtney White

You’re f**kin’ with me right?….suspension?!

Michelle Denice Hop

And now they can sue for racial discrimination.

Ashley Symone

No What’s wrong with a head wrap?

Leenie Outlaw

Aren’t there more important things to worry about then what someone is wearing. Who cares. It’s not hurting anyone.

LoeLoe JeviJha

Suspended? I dont even think this should be à question! They have the right to wear iT all the time.

Diana Ledeme


Michelle Ross

No for some it is cultural and for others it is a must. In some cultures a woman can not show her head in public. You can’t deny a person for there religious beliefs.

Ladie Fulton

No, it’s cultural.

Vicky La

Absolutly not! It’s normal to wear it, it’s part of culture, I support them to wear it everyday!!!


It seems like the school has reached a fair agreement in regards to the wearing of the head wraps as it doesn’t appear that the students want to wear them year-round; only for Black History month. Thus, the school designated days would be a great opportunity to represent to the fullest along with the head wraps… perhaps full traditional attire, robes, dresses, elaborate head threading… really adorn themselves.

In the full scope of this story and sharing it with others, there is caution. Sometimes, we, as people in general, are quick to call foul play without all the facts. With the very impactful “natural” movement, changes have been made. It is indeed evoking many changes especially in a positive direction of self love. However, in this particular case, was this a protest for something the students feel is an ignored piece of culture or (due to the increasing popularity of head wraps) because they want to wear their stylish wraps? When I was in high school and not that long ago, headwear was not allowed… no matter how cute your hat was or if you didn’t have enough time to set your wrap (had a relaxer then) or because you had a bad hair day. The exception was for religious reasons and headwraps or hats in this instance are usually worn year round. Black History month comes every year and from the statement from the school, it is not an ignored celebration by them. Again, when I was in school, we had ways to communicate with the administration and voice our concerns. Many times, we were given what we wanted… was that done in this case? As the month and activities were being planned, did the students follow this protocol before a protest ensued? Did the parents talk to the administration to seek a resolution before the protest happened? Did the school allow them to wear other cultural specific attire, but said no to the head wrap? Is there an undercurrent of other racial problems and the students are fed up? And because headwear is against school policy and they (students and parents) were aware of this, did they accept that their stand may cause a suspension from school for the students? Did they truly believe in their cause? I don’t know, but these are the things we have to think about before our conclusions are set on a matter. We need to understand our power in totality. We need to make sure our future leaders understand their power in totality. There is a major difference between wanting to make real change and just wanting to do what you want to do. In this case, I hope these young ones’ cause was just and the changes implemented will improve race and culture relations for them in the school and more importantly, in life.

Monisha Talton

No they should not be suspended regardless if it is religion reasons are wearing it as a decoration in the head because I wear them all the time that’s just crazy to me that they will get suspended for one a wrap around their heads for for religious reasons or just the word in the head no they do not need to be suspended none whatsoever that’s just my opinion

Clemer Holmes

NO, NO, NO and NO. Let people be who they are and who they want to be and feel good about it. When I was growing up I read that America was a melting pot and welcomed all people. However it appears that some people think that means come and give up all of you and be like them. Does that mean that them are better? NO, No, And NO. Stop the foolishness.

Keys Jones

Bathscheba Duronvil. Head wraps are lovely and not offensive in anyway. Hmmm, makes me think of what we’ve been discussing lately.

Bathscheba Duronvil

Yeah I don’t see what’s wrong with that, it’s like telling a Muslim you she can’t wear her Hijab.
It’s part of our culture and our history, I don’t see what’s wrong with showing your pride for your culture. It makes me so mad how people have the power to just ban stuff like that just because they feel comfortable?

Cb Sampson

NO Black Pride should not make white people so uncomfortable slavery is over did you not get the memo I will cc you then GET OVER IT

Karan Smith

No.i wear mine to work all.year round

Yolanda Hill

Is Muslims suspended for wearing head wraps or Indians? Hell no!

Khadine Pessoa


Tina Waters

It doesn’t matter what month it is. Schools have a policy against hats and scarves except for religious reasons. So if you wear one and refuse to remove it, be prepared for suspension.

Lana Pitts