A Biloxi, Mississippi school principal apologized to a parent after making her 8-year-old daughter remove her “Black Girls Rock” T-shirt.
Sharika Jolly said she purchased the shirt for her daughter Makiyah-Jae in hopes to help raise her confidence after Makiyah-Jae asked if she could straighten her hair and dye it blonde.
“No, baby. That’s not you. This is who you are. You don’t have to be like anyone else but yourself.” Jolly said to her daughter. Jolly was then alarmed when Makiyah-Jae returned home from Popps Ferry Elementary wearing something else, and after speaking with the principal, learned her daughter had been told to remove the T-shirt.
“When I asked him what was the reason for him taking the shirt off of her, he said, ‘You’re right. It’s not in the policy. Nowhere in the policy does it state that the shirt is out of dress code,’” said Jolly. “He said they made a judgment call, then I proceeded to ask well who are the judges judging my 8 year old. And he said ‘Well, I’m the principal so I made the call.’”
Jolly then notified an administrator of the school district, and received an apology later that week. Biloxi Schools Superintendent Arthur McMillan later admitted the school overreacted.
“The principal said they got to thinking about it. We were trying to avoid a conflict,” said McMillan. “In today’s world we think about all the politically correct things that we don’t want to offend anybody; probably overreached in this situation.”