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Louisiana girl sent home from school over braided hair extensions

"This decision is going to affect black children more than white children," Steven Evergreen Fennidy, the girl's brother, wrote on Facebook.
by Kalhan Rosenblatt /

An 11-year-old black girl was sent home from a private Roman Catholic school in Louisiana this week because she broke a rule on wearing hair extensions.

The girl, Faith Fennidy, has worn her hair in thick braids with extensions to Christ the King Elementary School in Terrytown, Louisiana, for the last two years without any problem, her mother, Montrelle Fennidy, told NBC News affiliate WDSU.

But Faith was sent home on Monday, and her brother, Steven Evergreen Fennidy, posted video of Faith walking out of school with her family after being told her hairstyle was unacceptable.

"Extensions make the hair easier to maintain," Steven Evergreen Fennidy wrote on Facebook. "It allows my sister to have access to the swimming pool without having to get her hair Re-done every night. How do you make a policy without even having a discussion. It’s because you don’t care and it’s just one more barrier to entry for black people."

He said the policy prohibiting "extensions, clip-ins or weaves" was added over the summer.

Steven Fennidy also wrote that "many little black girls wear extensions" and that the school's policy will "affect black children more than white children." His post has been viewed appropriately 2 million times since Monday.

In the clip, Faith, who is wearing her braids in a neat, shoulder-length ponytail, is heard crying while the adults with her argue with school administrators.

"I don't want this to happen," a school employee can be heard saying.

A person with Faith in the video replies, "Yes, you do."

They continue to argue, and eventually, the group leaves the school with Faith.

The Fennidys and school administrators did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The superintendent for the Archdiocese of New Orleans' Office of Catholic Schools, RaeNell Billiot Houston, said in a statement that the archdiocese develops policies for each school and that Christ the King has a policy that allows only natural hair.

"This policy was communicated to all parents during the summer and again before the first day of school, and was applied to all students," Houston said. "Furthermore, the school leadership worked with families as needed to ensure compliance."

Houston said the school offered Faith’s family the chance to comply with the uniform and dress policy, but "the family chose to withdraw the student; the student was not suspended or expelled."

Houston said the school district remains "a welcoming school community that celebrates our unity and diversity."

Montrelle Fennidy told NOLA.com that the family was looking for a new school for her daughter, a sixth-grader.

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