The Central Virginian

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Head cover as expression at Louisa County High School

Posted on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 5:00 am

Jakayla Ragland (l) asks Louisa County High School seniors Hayden Bunting and Cayden Apple-Hollins to sign a petition which she plans to take to the school board to appeal the school’s dress code.

Senior Jakayla Ragland started a petition in March after Louisa County High School administrators would not let her wear her headwrap to school.

When Ragland walked into school on March 1, she said that she was immediately asked by David Blanchard, assistant principal, to remove her head covering.

Ragland went to see Principal Lee Downey to discuss the matter and was told that her head wrap wasn’t dress code appropriate. He suggested that she speak with Felecia Christian, another assistant principal, who is responsible for dress code matters.

Christian told her that she needed to remove her headwrap, according to Ragland.

“It’s not just do-rags; it’s head coverings in general,” Ragland said, explaining that head coverings represent part of her culture.

As she looked more deeply into the issue, Ragland said that she realized that the dress code policy on head coverings also impacts other students.

The official rule is that full head coverings are not allowed unless there are special circumstances, according to Downey.

“In these cases, we certainly make exceptions,” Downey said, adding that exceptions include religious purposes or health conditions. “Outside of that, there are certain rules students need to follow, and one of those is dress code.”

Downey said he encourages students to schedule a time to meet with him to discuss concerns before it becomes an issue.

(Article by Emily Weddle)

This is a partial article. Read the full story in The Central Virginian’s April 11, 2019 issue.

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