BSO- Speaking to ABC News 13 in Texas Kemirah Jn-Marie, the only African-American member of Ross S. Sterling High School’s varsity cheer squad, says she’s been singled out by the team’s coach and threatened with a ban for wearing her hair in braids despite wearing them neatly in a ponytail for games.
Hair must be “pulled back in a secure pony tail” and hair “must not distract from the cheer environment.” The policy also states that an administrator will determine if a hair style is disruptive.
Kemirah’s mother Mayra Jn-Marie says she’s requested that the rule regarding hairstyles be placed in writing but the district refused.
Beth Dombrowa, Director of Communications for Goose Creek CISD, issued the following statement regarding the allegations:
“This student is not the only cheerleader who has been asked to correct her hairstyle, or other parts of her uniform; further, she was in no way reprimanded, punished or kept from participating – she was simply reminded to use the agreed-upon hairstyle. In no way do we discriminate, or tolerate, discrimination of any student.”
Kemirah was allowed to attend the game Saturday with braids in her hair. No further action has been taken by the family at the present time.
Geez, we are really playing it fast and loose with the definition of discrimination, aren't we? I mean, I get that she's the only African American on the cheer team, but unwritten rules are unwritten rules and having braids that are in complete accordance with the actual rulebook goes in complete violation of the unwritten rules. This isn't a race thing, it's just that the most predominately black hair style happens to be frowned upon by her coaches for a totally fair completely ambiguous reason. It's not about the one black girl getting treated unfairly relative to all her white teammates, it's that the one black girl's hair - in her coach's humble opinion - is distracting to all her white teammates. Seems legit to me. It's not like they didn't allow her to participate, they just threatened to not allow her to participate until she called their bluff and showed up with braids anyway. She wasn't reprimanded for how she choose to wear her hair. She was just repeatedly reminded to change it and warned that a failure to do so would be met with harsh criticism and a possible benching. Since when is upholding the integrity of the "cheer environment" by way of forbidding - but totally not disallowing - the type of hair that is generally only characteristic of one skin color considered prejudice? I don't know how or why, but this has got to be Colin Kaepernick's fault.