A Seattle writer is angry beyond words, because late last month his 8-year-old child was removed from her honors elementary school class. No, the child did not misbehave. Instead, the little girl was guilty of using a hair moisturizer that allegedly annoyed her Caucasian teacher. Now the
has joined the angry dad in filing a complaint against the child's school.
, the father, claims that the school administrators at
Thurgood Marshall Elementary
initially moved his child out of her honors classroom, placing her in a hallway and then, ultimately, moved her to another classroom. Why?
Because the child's teacher stated that she was allergic to the smell of the olive oil moisturizing hair lotion that the little girl used,
Organic Root Stimulator
Mudede's daughter, who is biracial, is an honor's student and the only child of color in her grade's accelerated program.
After the teacher complained about her hair grease, though, the child was permanently placed in a classroom with predominantly African American children who were academically not on par.
The child's parents were never even contacted about the matter. Bellen Drake
, the child's mother, tells
Seattle's King 5 News
"I couldn't comprehend it. I was really try to make sense of it and that took a while. My daughter kept saying that she was afraid and it's your hair and that she could come into her class to get her work, then go to another class for the rest of the day."
The family contacted the NAACP, and the organization has taken the reins on this case by filing a formal complaint with the
U.S. Department of Education
. The civil rights organization says that the incident has "less to do about hair and more to do with how the whole situation was handled."
Mudede and his wife have also decided to hire an attorney. Until the matter is settled, Mudede writes in his blog,
"We decided not to send our daughter to school until the teacher had medical proof that our daughter's hair or something in her hair was to blame for the nausea. (The last thing you want to happen to your daughter is for a teacher to faint or vomit at the mere sight of her.) Days passed and the school took no action. This unresponsiveness left us with no other choice than to turn to a lawyer. The whole thing is a mess. Getting entangled in a racial dilemma is something most black parents do not want for their children. It's just not worth the trouble. Then again, like I said, if not checked and confronted, the incident will have permanent consequences for my child."
In a statement, the school district told King 5 News:
"We're concerned and we're looking into it. Our priority is to get the child back in school."