It seems like the fight to wear your hair the way you want at school has been a continuous battle across this nation as of late.
That is exactly what Texas high school cheerleader, Kemirah Jn-Marie is dealing with at Ross S. Sterling High School in Baytown, Texas.
The fifteen-year-old is a flyer on the Varsity cheer squad and as the new school year is underway the coach felt that Kemirah’s braids were inappropriate and that she needed to change her hair.
The coach said that if she showed up to this past Saturday’s game with the same braids she wore to school she would not be able to perform.
Kemirah has box braids installed and according to the Sterling High cheer guidelines: Hair must be “pulled back in a secure pony tail” and hair “must not distract from the cheer environment.”
She didn’t have any fancy colors or crazy designs, just box braids.
Jn-Marie shared with ABC that the coach has been on her continuously about her hair.
“The coach makes it hard to be on varsity. She makes me feel bad about myself.”
Her mother feels as if her daughter is a victim of racial discrimination.
I personally was saddened by the account as I read the story. Coaches are there to encourage and uplift the students, and if Kemirah says that she instead makes her feel bad about herself there is an issue here.
In a time where we should be constantly uplifting and allowing our kids to express themselves freely, no one should have to endure the discriminatory comments over something not that serious.
I understand that being a part of a team requires some sort of uniformity and, especially with something like cheer, appearance is weighted heavily. However, when she technically did follow the policy it would be a stretch to say that simple box braids are a distraction from the cheer environment.
Oh and in case you’re wondering, the Saturday came and Kemirah cheered with her braids still installed.
What do you think about this situation?