Butler SBDM approves new hair policy

Butler SBDM approves new hair policy
Published: Aug. 3, 2016 at 9:37 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2016 at 2:10 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Changes to a school's hair policy were passed Thursday following outrage from parents and students who claimed the previous rules were racially insensitive.

Butler Traditional High's School Based Decision Making council voted unanimously to approve a new policy that allows twists and braids but maintains hair must be well-kept at a reasonable length.

The new policy also states boys and girls must have natural hair color and no contrasting colors.

Parents at the meeting spoke and thanked the leadership at Butler for hearing their concerns and acting quickly to change the policy in time for the new school year.

"It's fine now and I hope we can go back to the subject of educating our students," said Rhonda Mathies.

Parent and SBDM member Charice Baldon Traynham said the committee came under attack for the wrong reasons and the issue was never race-based.

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"It was being taken as though it was against the black culture. And sitting on the board sitting with these teachers I know that that's something that was not intended," said Baldon-Traynham.

Her daughter Alexandria, is a student at Bulter. She agreed and said she often wears braids to school and never felt the policy was directed at female students, only males.

The proposed restrictions now include keeping boys' hair to a length less than three inches, requiring all students to have a natural hair color and lines to be cut into the hair only for a part.

Butler Principal William Allen sent out a survey to parents, teachers and students and said the results show 73 percent agree with the new policy changes. He's now putting his focus toward a positive school year at Butler.

Audobon Traditional Middle School also met Thursday to review their dress code policy and are working toward making their policy similar to their feeder schools like Male High School and Jefferson County Traditional Middle School. They conducted a first reading, but will wait until school starts to garner more feedback from parents before voting on the updated policy.

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