Seven-year-old Tiana Parker has straight A's and a spotless behavior record, but when she was summoned to a school administrator's office for the first time in her short life on Aug. 30, her mind raced to only one conclusion.
"I thought I was in trouble," Tiana said, hanging her head at the memory. "Mr. (Millard) Jones said, 'We don't allow dreads here.' I thought I was probably going to have to change my hair." She finished out the day in sadness, not knowing it would be her last at Deborah Brown Community School.
Her furious parents had already informed the same administrator by telephone that they wouldn't dream of shearing off their little girl's natural hair to comply with a policy they thought applied only to boys.