AG tells Malden charter school hair rules are biased
By Kay Lazar / Globe Staff
On Friday the state attorney general directed Malden charter school to immediately stop punishing Black and biracial students for wearing hairstyles the school reported violated its dress code — rules the attorney general deemed as discriminatory and un-evenly enforced.
In a letter sent to Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, the office of Attorney General Maura Healey said, “the school’s hair and makeup policy violates state and federal law by subjecting students of color, especially Black students, to differential treatment thus denying them the same advantages and privileges of public education afforded to other students.”
Since April, Black female students who wear hair extensions have been subjected to detentions and suspensions.
A spokesman for Mystic Valley released a one-line statement from the school’s interim director, Alexander Dan.
“We are in receipt of the letter from the attorney general’s office, and it will be reviewed by the board of trustees at a meeting that has been called for Sunday night,” Dan said. Previously, Mystic Valley administrators said extensions…could highlight economic differences among students because of the hairstyle’s cost.