Social Exclusion Lessons: A 4-Year-Old Girl Was Being Persuaded To Straighten Her Hair To Be Accepted By Peers

Some situations make us wonder if our society is moving in the right direction.

The following story is about the world we live in and how we can change it while there is still time.

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Gabriela, a student at a São Paulo school, in four years of age has already faced social prejudice – an issue of major concern in many countries.

In a place where the children are supposed to be taught respect and equality, the girl became a victim of social bias and, what’s even worse, an adult was behind it.

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Because Gabriela used to wear Afro hair, her teacher “felt the need” to communicate with her mother, Janaína, that the girl's locks were hindering her social development and integration with other children.

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Janaina, like any mother, wanted to know more about what was happening to her daughter.

Then the educator told the mother to straighten her daughter's hair because the girl's peers found it odd and were distancing from Gabriela.

The teacher also confessed that she straightens her own hair because she thinks it is “bad” and that the little student would have to do the same.

Outraged Janaina couldn’t believe the words coming from the teacher’s mouth, shocked by the level of absurdity.

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She had already heard her daughter complain about other children avoiding to play with her during class breaks, and began to question the educator’s position on the matter.

In the face of everything, she had heard the mother reached out to the school board.

Now, the students are receiving classes on social inclusion and are expected to correct their behavior to avoid acts of prejudice in the institution. Better late than never!

This story shows us how important it is to talk to your children and be aware of what is going on with them. There always should be adults in the room able to intervene and to right the wrong.

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