Do a google search of "Mystic Valley Charter School" and you will find multiple articles like the one below from Wickedlocal. If you are from Melrose and you think this is a racist policy at the school, please understand that it is your tax dollars funding this school:
The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School is under scrutiny after punishing two African American students for wearing braided hair extensions.
By Ethan Hartley
The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School is facing scrutiny after punishing two African American students who attended the school wearing braided hair extensions.
Colleen Cook, adopted mother of twins Mya and Deanna – both 15-year-old African American students who attend the Malden-based charter school – claims that the school’s decision to levy punitive measures due to their hair extensions has racial implications, and that the school’s rules on dress code and appearance disproportionately affects black students.
Cook said in an interview with the Boston Globe that her daughters, after refusing to take out their hair extensions, are serving before and after-school detention and have been banned from both afterschool sports and the upcoming prom.
According to the Mystic Valley Charter 2016/17 Parent/Student Handbook, the rules for how students may wear their hair are as follows:
“Students must keep their hair neat and out of their eyes. Students may not wear drastic or unnatural hair colors or styles such as shaved lines or shaved sides or have a hairstyle that could be distracting to other students (extra-long hair or hair more than two inch in thickness or height is not allowed). This means no coloring, dying, lightening (sun-in) or streaking of any sort. Hair extensions are not allowed.”
Although the rulebook appears to be straightforward, Cook claimed her daughters had worn these types of braided extensions in the past and yet “never encountered objections from the school.”
Cook has reached out to the NAACP and the Massachusetts Anti-Defamation League for help, and the latter group was apparently meeting with officials from the school on Friday, according to Cook.
Cook has asserted that her daughters’ decision to wear the extensions was an expression of pride for their heritage, and that the style shouldn’t be included alongside the school’s policy regarding other restricted expressions of style that encompass a much broader population of students, such as the prohibition of tattoos, facial hair, makeup and nail polish.
Congresswoman Catherine Clarke (5th District) posted a statement on Facebook Friday regarding the incident.
“I am deeply troubled by reports of black girls being disciplined for how they choose to wear their hair,” the post reads. “Too often, school policies like dress codes – both in their design and their enforcement – are disproportionately punitive toward children of color.”
Also on Friday the Boston-based Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice sent a letter to the school in response to what they deemed a “discriminatory” policy.
The LCCREJ pointed out that, unlike the jewelry and nail polish prohibited in the school’s code, braids and extensions are worn primarily by African-American and Afro-Caribbean students, which can raise concerns of discriminatory treatment.
“It is hard to understand how braiding, a deep-rooted cultural practice of people of African descent, can be put in the same category as the ‘drastic and unnatural hair colors’ the school’s code prohibits as ‘distracting,’” the LCCREJ said in a statement. “Denying young black women their opportunity to express their cultural identity will not make the school safer, more orderly, or less ‘distracting.’ It will diminish the students, and diminish their ranks.
The school sent out a press release on Friday responding to the incident that categorically defended its actions.
“The rules on attire and appearance, which apply to all children and have been consistently enforced, are designed to support this philosophy. They are designed to permit students to focus their attentions on academics and on those aspects of their personalities that are truly important,” it reads.
“The specific prohibition on hair extensions, which are expensive and could serve as a differentiating factor between students from dissimilar socioeconomic backgrounds, is consistent with our desire to create such an educational environment, one that celebrates all that our students have in common and minimizes material differences and distractions. Any suggestion that it is based on anything else is simply wrong,” the statement continues.
Those who have been around for a while know that that charter school was set up by a bunch of white people that were unhappy with the demographics in Malden. Look at the stats today. Malden high school is 28.6% white and 71.4% minority. By contrast, the Mystic Valley Charter school, which is right down the street, is 53.4% white and 46.6% minority. The white people from Malden set this up so they could have "white flight" within their own city. They got the state to go along with it and now the good people from Melrose and surrounding communities are paying for it. This policy is representative of the mindset at that school. Public schools should not be allowed to operate like this.
This post is not true so do not believe it. You can not accept what Clarke's report is.
If Clark really posted that statement, it indicates she acts more like Donald Trump than a thoughtful person. The charter school demonstrates more thoughtfulness than Clark and the others. It recognized, when it began as a school, the inequities in society it needed to guard against. It's well documented that uniforms and bans on flagrant expressions of wealth create a better academic culture.
Would Melrose would do the same, perhaps more disadvantaged students in Melrose would do well instead of the never-ending supply of wealthy white students who get celebrated as valedictorians and top 10% every year.
It's irresponsible for Clark to put out such ignorant and irresponsible drivel. She's pandering to the ignorant parts of her constituency. She just had to join the others and gang up on the charter school. Probably because it put Melrose to shame during her tenure as school committee member (and still) and she'll forever be tarnished by it.
Back then, she could have led Melrose to emulate better the Charter School. Instead, she joined with the bullies and led the charge to demonize the families who sent their children there to receive better educational opportunity. She had no respect for federal law then, disclosing names of children in violation of it. Hopefully, she's learned her lesson and respects it better today. That remains in doubt given she joined in the chorus of those who exploit superficial issues in attempts to bolster their political status.
Keep lying to yourself about the stats. If you know anyone from Malden you know EXACTLY why this school was set up. It was absolutely set up by a small group of white Malden residents that were and are unhappy with the demographics in Malden. I know everyone will want to deflect this against Clark, Dolan or Melrose High. Despite all of that; IMO this is a clear example of institutional racism and the taxpayers of Melrose and the surrounding communities are paying for it.
To all of you "one trick ponies" that want to funnel all issues back to Dolan and the Melrose public schools; you should realize that you are aiding and abetting the country-club mindset that runs the charter school (at your expense).
Whatever faults the Melrose District may have, it has ZERO to do with this issue. The intent of charter schools was to help inner city populations. A small group of citizens in Malden exploiting this and, instead of helping inner city kids, set up a school to get their white kids out of the district in Malden because the minority population was too high for their liking.
Bash Dolan and the School Committee all that you want. The people running the charter school know that neither the mayor nor school committee have any power to change the way things are going at the charter school. It is run by the state. Until folks in the sending communities starting making their feelings known at the charter school meetings and at the state level; nothing will change.
Lastly, this is not a "pot shot." This story has been covered by every major news outlet in Boston and nationally. The school has even banned the two girls from attending the prom. Ask yourself what your reaction would be if this happened at MHS.
"To all of you "one trick ponies" that want to funnel all issues back to Dolan and the Melrose public schools; you should realize that you are aiding and abetting the country-club mindset that runs the charter school (at your expense)."
You are quite obvious in who you are and what you stand for.
What the Mystic Valley Charter School has been doing in terms of its discipline policies is dead wrong and always was. It is way past time that it is revealed and prosecuted. It is entirely correct that the ACLU, ADL, and others are leading the charge (too bad they didn't take other corresponding issues seriously for the many years MVCS has been abusing its authority, like the equally wrong and disgusting Melrose Public Schools racist conduct that has been proven by a federal agency).
The truth is that the MPS issues weren't quite sexy enough coming from such a stupid entitled suburb for the big guns to come marching in (yet), though Melrose has proven itself to be arrogant enough not to have learned anything. It is quite likely to continue getting itself in more self-inflicted trouble which at some point will have catastrophic consequences. It's a matter of time and exposure, and no amount of Dolan/Van Campen/Driscoll/Thorp/Taymore gag orders or Guilfoil PR agency spin can reliably cover up or whitewash (literally) every single disgraceful thing that happens here. Whether it's the mayor's former chief of staff/godfather who plead guilty to disgusting crimes taking advantage of the most vulnerable citizens, or whether it's the superintendent & school committee that chose to allow and even support staff doing overtly racist things against students and faculty alike, at some point it will result in the full-blown disgrace that it's been all along. Like the MVCS situation, it will require enough of the constellations to line up before it will break through the many layers of protectionism/cronyism/stupid parent/taxpayer mentality that have kept the shameful conduct under wraps for so long.
MVCS deserves the full wrath of the law, the press, and the public, despite the many academic advantages it has given a lot (but certainly not all) of its students. MPS has earned that wrath as well, only Melrose citizens/parents are too dumb and ethically deficient in many cases to accept this. One way or another, it will catch up in the long run. In terms of sullied reputation, that ship already sailed. No amount of protestation by the MPS sycophant club can wipe away the permanent stains on the district's awful reputation.
There was once a saying, "If you want to send a message, call Western Union." Using one's hair style to
make a statement about race, may provoke attention at a charter school but try it in the military.
Success in life sometimes requires adjustments to one's environment. Understand the norms of that environment before you enter it.
Just in case you don't understand the level of racism at Mystic valley, there is only one African American teacher on staff. And now lets take a look at their website. http://www.mvrcs.com/ On the front page in the left hand column they celebrate their students of the week. Of the thirteen students celebrated NOT ONE is a minority. Surprise, surprise. MVRCS has a racism problem.
Depending on how well the newbie candidates understand the political norms of elected office in Melrose will determine if they win or lose. If they get too close to the political "insiders, they will suffer the same results as the override and go up in flames! Town Crier is right....understand the norms of the environment you want to enter.
First of all, I don't care one way or the other about Mystic Valley Charter. My kids are grown, and it is a non-issue for me. It may have been started by a bunch of racists- I have no way of knowing. They may have some racist policies- I don't really know or care. But, in this specific instance, I think people are way off track. I read this story about the girls with the braids and I watched them on EVERY local news channel. They (their parents, I assume) really paraded them out there to tell their sob story. I found the whole thing extremely exploitive of the girls, and I kept thinking the same thing- It all comes down to people not wanting to follow the rules. Over and over again, we have stories in the news that are there to create anger, but most of the time, it is just a question of people not wanting to follow rules. This story, in my opinion, is the same story that plays out daily in public and private schools across the nation: The school has a rule. A student breaks the rule. The student has a consequence. End of story. It's like the outrage over the yoga pants girls, who weren't allowed on the flight, because...they chose not to follow the rule, and they got a consequence. But everyone wants to get on board, because this is supposedly some violation of cultural acceptance. But it is not. It is just a family that decided to break a rule and get on TV. Nothing more.
"MVRHS administration feverishly taking down the lily-white parade of "Students of the Week", to be replaced with representative 43% or more minorities in tomorrow's "student of the week" picture. Stay tuned.
Will they take down the Teacher profile pictures representing that 99% of the staff is also lily-white?"
Sadly, the same could be said about Melrose. Other than the METCO director and the METCO aid at MVMMS, CT got rid of the only other black teacher 2 years ago (not for a valid reason, either; she's now happily employed and making much more money in a good city nearby). Melrose system is much much bigger than MVCS, so it has even less excuse. Without METCO and a few new residents, Melrose would be as close to totally lily-white as a 21st suburban district as is possible, with a mentality that reflects its general cultural isolation and backwardness.
It's called "Identity Politics".
This just in: The Mystic Valley Regional just took down the Lily-white administrator/staff pictures from their website effective just a few hours ago. These guys waste no time hiding their racist past/present! This has Guilfoil PR agency written all over it.
Respect The Rights Of Others. Treat others as you want to be treated, everyone has a right to live in the same world you live in. If only that was true in the Mystic Valley Charter School.
The interim director is not long for a job if he continues his obnoxious rants and defiance of civil rights laws and continued outrageous and unfair treatment of minority female students. ( Who is running the PR mess over there anyway??) The State Attorney General, the ACLU, ADL and even his own counterparts at the Mass Charter School Association are telling him he is in violation of civil rights laws yet he insists on the continued punishment of the victims? What a schmuck!
"Who is running the PR mess over there anyway??"
Just like Melrose, confirmed felons are invited to the highest positions in local governance. The MVCS has employed a convicted felon/former Malden city solicitor/realty attorney/bestie of the Malden mayor as its 6-figure PR agent ever since shortly after he was disbarred for stealing from the escrow accounts of his former law firm clients. Sound familiar? In Melrose it is an elected (what a dumb citizenry!) school board member who thinks he will get back his ticket (lost for stealing $1.5 million from his elderly clients' realty escrow accounts, after which he was convicted on multiple felony counts and disbarred) so that he can be the mayor's city solicitor. In Melrose it is the mayor's former chief of staff/godfather/superintendent of the cemetery who has been recently convicted on felony counts of illegally selling city plots and pocketing the cash. Oh yeah, and the former mayor of Malden/bestie of the MVCS felon is the guy that the Melrose mayor hailed in the press as his "mentor" and whom he tried to hire as the Melrose city solicitor at the same time he served as Malden mayor but was luckily shot down by the state ethics board, that deemed this a conflict of interest (ya think?).
Must be a lot of Democrats out there commenting on this issue - they just love to yell "racism" at every opportunity! You would think by now after losing so many state legislatures, congressional seats, and the presidency in the last election - they would learn. But no - they just keep bringing up "racism", time after time! Everything to them turns into a black & white issue - feeding the flames of the worse groups in this country!What a pathetic lot they are today!
Students are selected by lottery - yet there is racism, there are dress codes, yet there is racism - racism, racism, racism....all around - you see racism! What the heck kind of glasses do these people wear - oh yes, racism glasses - what else?
"they just love to yell "racism""Must be a lot of Democrats out there commenting on this issue"
What garbage. How about there are people "out there" who now feel fully empowered in this age of Trump to be as overtly racist as they were more secretly before, because even the nastiest racists typically know that this is something about which to feel shame and should hide in anything that calls itself a civilized society, something that it certainly cannot call itself under this racist monster of a president. Anyone who still thinks this is about Dems vs Repugs is also seriously deluded. Some of the most unrepentant racists are those parading around Melrose as so-called Dems.
Sexism and racism in Melrose will show its face in the upcoming election. I am worried for the Indian American woman who just pulled papers to run in the fall (pregnant with twins).
To all those bringing up the issues in the Melrose district you should remember; if you have a problem with the way your money is spent or are unhappy with civil rights issues at MHS, you have options. You can vote out the SC or even run for the SC yourself. However, if you are unhappy with how YOUR TAX DOLLARS are being spent by the Mystic Valley school and their racist polices you cannot vote anyone out nor can you run for the office. It is taxation without representation. Calling your state rep. is about all you can do.
Also, to those that feel that this is just a dress code issue; I urge you to take a close look at the history of this school.
As a republican, I do not oppose charter schools. They have a place and their place is to help underperforming districts. They were not intended to operate as private schools for mostly white kids in urban communities.
School sparks fury when officials ask black straight-A student to change her natural hair style because it violates dress code to keep look 'neat and organized'
Nicole Orr was asked to change her hair by officials at Montverde Academy
The black teen typically wears her hair in a natural style but was told it violated her private school's dress code
She felt singled out by the rule as 'Caucasian girls are able to wear their natural hair straight' but she wasn't allowed to wear her hair 'the way that it grows'
School said the rule against 'dread-like' hair had been 'in line with that neat and organized look that we're going for'
Montverde, in Florida, has since reversed the decision and removed the rule
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4511466/School-asks-black-teen-change-natural-hair.html#ixzz4hNidynaN
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
From MVRCS Handbook: Students must keep their hair neat and out of their eyes. Students may not wear drastic or unnatural hair colors or styles such as shaved lines or shaved sides or have a hairstyle that could be distracting to other students (extra-long hair or hair more than 2 inch in thickness or height is not allowed). This means no coloring, dying, lightening (sun-in) or streaking of any sort. Hair extensions are not allowed. Hair elastics must be worn in the hair and not on the wrist. No make-up of any sort is allowed. Nail polish or artificial nails are not allowed. Tattoos are not allowed. Students are not allowed to write or draw on themselves
Some bizarre restrictions here: No more than 2 inches thick?? So an African American girl with natural afro would be in violation of the 2 inch thick rule? ACLU will be all over this, patently unfair to African americans. [:-?]
The answer is religion or state. The school has a dress code and should be followed. The city of Melrose will not mention September 11th and I find this so offensive to our country.
The Massachusetts Attorney General's office has informed the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School that its hair and makeup policy violates state and federal law and that portions of it "effectively single out students of color."
Hard times at Kinnon High
It's not racist to have policies at your school. This is just another left winger wet dream. Something to complain about makes their day worthwhile. If the policy said "blacks can't have long hair" then yes, you have a racist school. But a hair policy that covers EVERYONE is not racist. Crawl back in your liberal holes.
MALDEN, MA -- Two days after the state Attorney General's Office ordered Mystic Valley Regional Charter School officials to "immediately cease'' its hair and makeup policy, the school board voted Sunday night to suspend its policy prohibiting hair extensions.
Board members voted unanimously to suspend the policy at least until the end of the year.
Twin 15-year-old sisters Deanna and Mya Scott, and their mother Colleen Cook, went public with their complaint that school officials were punishing the twins for wearing hair extensions, which critics claim was discriminatory against blacks.
The school claimed the girls were in violation of the school's hair and makeup policy.
Since late April, Mystic Valley has refused to allow the sisters to participate in school events and imposed repeated detentions and on the twin sisters, who are biracial and wear hair extensions.
The school’s dress code prohibits extensions — additional hair that is woven in the girls' natural hair — citing them as an example of a style that is “distracting” to other students and can highlight economic differences between students.
But at an emergency meeting on Sunday, the school board voted to to suspend or impose detentions on the girls, and to reinstate them for all school events.
In a letter sent to Mystic Valley Regional Charter School on Friday, state Attorney Genersl Maura Healy's office said it has "significant concerns about, and is investigating, the substance and application of (the school's) Hair/Makeup policy, particularily as it has been applied to prohibit students of color from wearing certain hair styles - and to punish them for doing so,'' NECN reports.
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The AG's Office ordered Mystic Valley officials to "immediately cease enforcing or imposing discipline for violations'' of the school’s hair and makeup policy.
Since late April, Mystic Valley has imposed repeated detentions on the twin sisters, who are biracial, and wear hair extensions. The school’s dress code prohibits extensions — additional hair that is woven in the girls' natural hair — citing them as an example of a style that is “distracting” to other students and can highlight economic differences between students.
When the sisters refused to remove the hair extensions, they were also banned from participating in sports, the Latin Club and they were prohibited from attending other school events, including the prom, according to reports.
The school’s policy also bans hair that is “more than 2 inches in thickness or height,” an apparent reference to “Afros” that are most likely to be worn by male and female black students, according to the attorney general’s office.
A spokesman for the school could not be reached for comment Friday night.
But Alexander J. Dan, Interim School Director, told NECN “We are in receipt of the letter from the attorney general’s office and it will be reviewed by the board of trustees at a meeting that has been called for Sunday night.”
Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts filed a complaint against the charter school with the state Department of Elementary and Secondary School Education, alleging that the school's hair and makeup policy is discriminatory.
The ACLU of Massachusetts wrote in a statement, "The policy discriminates on race, gender, national origin, religion and disability. Our complaint seeks a new policy with an immediate halt to discriminatory actions based on the existing policy.
The leftists on this thread are truly disgusting. They run around calling everyone racist and backwards while openly spewing racism with terms like "lily white". If anyone were to spew out terms like "ace of spades black" etc. they would be all over them; and rightfully so. But their own brand of anti white racism goes unnoticed by each and every one of them. They are, themselves, the very pathetic and nasty racists that they accuse all others of being.
The Melrose left will push for the Indian American Woman who spoke for the Human Rights group's support for Melrose being a Santuary City. She is pregnant with twins and already has a kid. How can she "plan Melrose", campaign, expect to serve on the BOA as a mother to twin newborns and another child! MEF and Override parents will be running her campaign. Melrose will show its racism and Manisha will lose.
You are wrong.It is what it is.
No racism in Melrose.
That was a joke to the last post I read. This city is peaches and cream and that's the way we want it. I bought our house because of that reason. I did not like when the train lines were put into Melrose it brought nothing but trouble.
I would call what the comedian Kathy did racism. This should not be allowed with a sitting president. If she thinks she sounded better when she used the fake tears she did not. So not funny at all so let it go. She only came forward because she is losing money. Think before you make a bad decision like that one!!!
All people are tied of hearing the racism word this is the year 2017 and we are all equal so stop this nonsense and lets all get along with each other for a real change.