African American School Girl Sent Home Over Skin-Tone Tights? LAUSD Defends Itself
The L.A. school district stands behind a decision to send an 11-year-old middle schooler to the principal's office after she wore tights that happened to match her African American skin tone.
KTLA News / screengrab
Her mother contends that she was sent home from Mt. Gleason Middle School in Tujunga because the brown pants too closely matched her skin.
But he district told the Weekly a different story:
An L.A. Unified School District official told us that the issue was the girl's tights, which are, in fact, banned under district policy.
A letter was subsequently sent to the girl's mother explaining that dress code, which includes the rule that "no tights shall be worn alone."
The mother, Yolanda Tunstill, told KTLA News, which broke the story, that daughter Deja wears tights to school almost everyday.
She was pulled aside by a teacher's assistant one week ago Friday, during the first week of school, and told to see the principal because of the tights, the station said.
Tunstill contends that the honor's student was told the issue was that the color was too "racy" as a result of her own matching skin tone, according to KTLA.
The station says Deja was ultimately sent home, but the district says that's not the case.
The mom told KTLA:
To make a comment about my daughter's skin color, that's not right. She wears them all the time. ... There has never been a problem before ... until she wore the brown ones, and then it became a problem.
Interestingly, while the district defended itself, a letter from the school sent home to Tunstill noted that that "the appropriate administrative action is being taken" against the assistant, apparently regarding comments over the color of the pants, KTLA reported.
The mother plans to pursuit legal action, according to the station.