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Girl says Florida school threatening expulsion over her ‘natural hair’

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Vanessa VanDyke, left, told ClickOrlando.com that officials at Faith Christian Academy in Orlando are giving her one week to do something with her hair. (ClickOrlando.com)

A Florida school told a 12-year-old African-American girl that she either does something with her hair or should start looking for a new school, WKMG reported.

Vanessa VanDyke told the station that officials at Faith Christian Academy in Orlando are giving her one week to cut her overgrown hair, which she wears natural, with no styling. If she refuses to cut and shape her hair, the private school, which has rules regarding how students wear their hair, said she is not allowed to attend classes, she told the station.

"I'm depressed about leaving my friends and people that I've known for a while, but I'd rather have that than the principals and administrators picking on me and saying that I should change my hair," VanDyke told the station.

Her mom told the station that she is standing beside her daughter. One of the rules at the school is that hair should not be a distraction to other students. The mother said "a distraction to one person is not a distraction to another."

According to WKMG, Faith Christian Academy has rules governing student hairstyles. The student handbook reads: "Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction," and goes on to state examples that include, but are not limited to, mohawks, shaved designs and rat tails.

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