Administrators told the girl that she had one week to choose between cutting and straightening her hair or leaving the school that she has attended since 3rd grade. The pre-teen told Channel 6 that she's proud of her hair.
"It says that I'm unique," VanDyke said. "First of all, it's puffy and I like it that way. I know people will tease me about it because it's not straight. I don't fit in."
School officials have apparently decided that the little girl's hair poses a danger to the learning process.
"Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction," reads the school's student handbook. Hairstyles like mohawks, "rat tails" and shaved designs are forbidden. The handbook itself, however, says nothing about natural or African-American hair.
School administrators took it upon themselves to tell Vanessa VanDyke "change your hair or get out" rather than deal with the children who harassed her.
"There have been bullies in the school," said the girl's mother Sabrina Kent. "There have been people teasing her about her hair, and it seems to me that they're blaming her."