‘Pretend their hair was natural’ – families say school told girls to lie

Faith Fennidy leaves Christ the King School last week after being told that her hair extensions violated the school's uniform policy

Terrytown, LA –  The families of two grade school girls accused of breaking the uniform code at Christ the King School say the girls were told they could come back to class with their hair extensions as long as they would “pretend that their hair was natural.”

It’s the latest twist in a story that’s caused consternation on social media about cultural insensitivity toward black students.

Monday night (Aug. 27), the Office of Catholic Schools Superintendent RaeNell Houston released a statement saying that Christ the King School had notified the families of Faith Fennidy and Tyrielle Davis last Thursday that it had “rescinded” the hair policy after reaching out for “input  from the Office of Catholic Schools, the Office of Black Catholic Ministries, other principals, and parents.”

The Superintendent’s statement also says that “when the issue arose, the school immediately reviewed its policy and recognized that there may have been sensitivities that needed to be addressed.”  Houston is the first black superintendent of Catholic schools in the New Orleans Archdiocese.

However,  after the release of that statement, the Fennidy and Davis families released their own statement, claiming that Superintendent Houston and Christ the King School’s principal “callously refused to change the policy earlier in the week” and only rescinded it after first telling the girls that they could return to school if they were “dishonest about who they are and how they look.”

The families also say the school “kicked out” the two girls, and would not have offered to let them return if it were not for their lawsuit that resulted in a judge’s order to temporarily lift the school’s ban on hair extensions.

The families and the Superintendent are scheduled to meet Tuesday (Aug. 28) at 2pm.

Stay with WGNO for updates.