The adoptive mother of two black students has branded their Boston charter school racist after her daughters were banned from extracurricular activities and given detention for violating their Boston charter school’s hair code. 

Twin sisters Deanna and Mya Scott, 15, were banned from track, the Latin Club and all school events after they came to school with braided hair extensions. 

The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School students said they believe their school’s hair policy is racist. 

‘What they’re saying is we can’t wear extensions, and the people who wear extensions are black people,’ Deanna told CBS Boston.

Twin sisters Deanna (left) and Mya Scott (right), 15, were banned from track, the Latin Club and all school events after they came to school with braided hair extensions

Twin sisters Deanna (left) and Mya Scott (right), 15, were banned from track, the Latin Club and all school events after they came to school with braided hair extensions

Twin sisters Deanna (left) and Mya Scott (right), 15, were banned from track, the Latin Club and all school events after they came to school with braided hair extensions

The twins (pictured) said they were excited to wear their braids because 'it's very important to participate in the culture'. The pair were adopted by white parents Colleen and Aaron Cook (pictured), who are both outraged over the 'discriminatory' hair code

The twins (pictured) said they were excited to wear their braids because 'it's very important to participate in the culture'. The pair were adopted by white parents Colleen and Aaron Cook (pictured), who are both outraged over the 'discriminatory' hair code

The twins (pictured) said they were excited to wear their braids because ‘it’s very important to participate in the culture’. The pair were adopted by white parents Colleen and Aaron Cook (pictured), who are both outraged over the ‘discriminatory’ hair code

Mya told the station that she was ‘excited to be celebrating my culture because I have white parents and it’s very important to participate in the culture’.

The twins were adopted by Colleen and Aaron Cook, who are both outraged over the ‘discriminatory’ hair code. 

‘I’m angry, I feel like my children are beautiful, they’re black, they should be proud of themselves, I’m very proud of them,’ Colleen said.

Their father, Aaron, said the policy ‘specifically discriminates against African-American children as it relates to hair extensions’.

‘You typically do not see Caucasian children with hair extensions. The fact that it’s in the handbook does not make it a non-discriminatory policy,’ he added. 

Their father, Aaron, said the policy 'specifically discriminates against African-American children as it relates to hair extensions'. Both girls have received multiple detentions and aren't allowed to go to any of their school functions

Their father, Aaron, said the policy 'specifically discriminates against African-American children as it relates to hair extensions'. Both girls have received multiple detentions and aren't allowed to go to any of their school functions

Their father, Aaron, said the policy ‘specifically discriminates against African-American children as it relates to hair extensions’. Both girls have received multiple detentions and aren’t allowed to go to any of their school functions

But the school's Interim Director Alexander Dan told CBS that the policy is simply meant to minimize fashion expenses for families. The Cook family has decided to seek help from the ACLU, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Attorney General's office

But the school's Interim Director Alexander Dan told CBS that the policy is simply meant to minimize fashion expenses for families. The Cook family has decided to seek help from the ACLU, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Attorney General's office

But the school’s Interim Director Alexander Dan told CBS that the policy is simply meant to minimize fashion expenses for families. The Cook family has decided to seek help from the ACLU, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Attorney General’s office

But the school’s Interim Director Alexander Dan told CBS that the policy is simply meant to minimize fashion expenses for families. 

Dan said the extensions are prohibited because they are expensive and ‘could serve as a differentiating factor between students from dissimilar socioeconomic backgrounds’.

The school administrator added that the policy is one that is consistent with the institution’s desire to create an environment ‘that celebrates all that students have in common and minimizes material differences and distractions’. 

Both girls have received multiple detentions and aren’t allowed to go to any of their school functions. 

But the Cook family has decided to seek help from the ACLU, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Attorney General’s office.

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice Education Project Director Matthew Cregor wrote a letter to Dan detailing three ways in which the school’s policy may have violated the federal anti-discrimination law.

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice Education Project Director Matthew Cregor wrote a letter to Mystic Valley Regional Charter School (pictured) detailing ways in which the school's policy may have violated the federal anti-discrimination law

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice Education Project Director Matthew Cregor wrote a letter to Mystic Valley Regional Charter School (pictured) detailing ways in which the school's policy may have violated the federal anti-discrimination law

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice Education Project Director Matthew Cregor wrote a letter to Mystic Valley Regional Charter School (pictured) detailing ways in which the school’s policy may have violated the federal anti-discrimination law

First, Cregor wrote that the twins’ parents ‘expressed concern that white students who dye their hair are not facing the same consequences as black students with braids or extensions’. 

Cregor then wrote that ‘unlike the jewelry and nail polish prohibited in your code, braids and extensions are worn primarily by African-American and Afro-Caribbean students, raising concerns of discriminatory treatment’.

Lastly, he added that it’s not clear how braiding, ‘a deep-rooted cultural practice of people of African descent, can be put in the same category’ as unnatural hair colors that they school deems ‘distracting’.

Another issue Cregor addressed was that the school’s hiring policies may also be discriminatory, since only one black teacher works there out of the 156 employed. 

 

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