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In the dress code sent out to parents June 14, Horizon Science Academy (HSA) noted that “Afro-puffs and small twisted braids–with or without rubberbands–are NOT permitted.”
After receiving a number of complaints, the school sent out an updated dress code Saturday, removing the Afro-puffs ban. The school’s dean of students Jayson Bendik issued an apology for anyone offended by the dress code, noting the inclusion as an error. “We had no intention of creating any bias,” Bendik said. “We made a mistake and we fixed that mistake immediately.”
Bendik noted that other concept schools have been informed of the change. According to him, a committee oversees the dress code for the school, but overlooked the ban.
“As soon as we found out, we took the necessary action and made a correction,” he said.
According to its 2011-2012 annual report, 26 percent of the school’s K-7 students are African-American.
James Knight, an advisory-board member for the school, said the ban was targeted at the school’s Black male students in an effort to improve their appearance.
“It had nothing to do with young ladies, young African-American ladies. It was really more so addressing young African-American men here at this school,” he told the Huffington Post. “We want to maintain a certain type of college prep culture here, and we just want the young men to be well-groomed.”
“This information has offended many people and by no means did we have any intention of creating bias toward any of our students,” a member of the HSA administration told The Morning Journal. “Furthermore, we are taking the matter seriously and again apologize for any offense it may have caused.”