6th-grader might return to school after flap over hairstyle

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METAIRIE, La. (AP) — The sixth-grader who tearfully left a New Orleans area Catholic school after she was told her hair extensions violated its policy might soon return to classes there, her attorney and school officials said Friday.

Video of Faith Fennidy leaving Christ the King school with family members this week spread quickly on the internet, sparking angry online comments and charges that the school's hair policy discriminated against black students.

Attorney James Williams won a restraining order Thursday on behalf of Faith and another student. It temporarily blocks the school from enforcing the policy.

Williams said Friday, during a news conference with Faith, her parents and her brother, that he will discuss the matter Monday with officials of the elementary school and the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Archdiocese school officials issued a statement later, saying they had sought the upcoming meeting and that their goal is to welcome the girls back to class "as soon as possible."

"We'd like to take this opportunity to announce that the Office of Catholic Schools is reconvening the Superintendent's Advisory Council to address school policies, particularly those that might affect cultural differences in school communities, as well as other topics such as racial harmony, social justice and urban Catholic education," the statement said.

Steven Fennidy Jr. posted the Facebook video of Faith, her braids pulled back and hanging just below the neckline, that won her recognition and support from, among others, social activist Shaun King on Twitter and rapper T.I. on Instagram.

"Faith has received overwhelming support from thousands of people all over the world — ranging from celebrities to children her age living in different cultures," he said Friday, reading a prepared statement the brief news conference outside a suburban New Orleans office building.

On Tuesday, his Facebook post explained that there were practical reasons for Faith's use of extensions. "Extensions make the hair easier to maintain. It allows my sister to have access to the swimming pool without having to get her hair Re-done every night," his post said.

School officials had said they had communicated the extensions policy to parents over the summer and that school leaders had worked with parents to help ensure compliance.


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