A young mother in Biloxi, Mississippi is fighting back after an administrator at her daughter’s elementary school made the child take off her “Black Girls Rock” t-shirt.
Sharika Jolly shares that her 8-year-old daughter Makiyah-Jaetold her that she wanted to straighten her hair and dye it blonde, and she had been looking for ways to build her self-esteem.
“I’m like ‘No, baby. That’s not you. This is who you are. You don’t have to be like anyone else but yourself. And I feel like she should be comfortable in her own skin,” said Jolly.
In response, Sharika brought her daughter a “Black Girls Rock” shirt. The popular slogan was coined by celebrity DJ Beverly Bond who runs a non-profit with the same name. Bond also executive produces the annual Black Girls Rock awards show on BET which celebrates and promotes women empowerment.
Even though Makiyah had worn her shirt to school several times before, the principal of Popps Ferry Elementary made the little girl change clothes. When she arrived home, Sharika called the principal in search of answers.
“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 Sharika. “He said they made a judgment call, then I proceeded to ask well who are the judges judging my eight year old. And he said ‘Well, I’m the principal so I made the call.'”