This Teacher’s Embrace Of Natural Hair Stopped A Classroom Of Bullies

Photographed by Winnie Au.
In Rome, Alexondra Purnomo teaches a first grade class of predominantly Italian kids and one new Black girl, Sasha. The little girl usually wears her hair in braids, but earlier this week, she wore it short and natural. "Some of the kids made fun of her for her short hair, so she started wearing a (winter!) hat to school and refused to take it off," Purnomo wrote on Facebook. Purnomo and another teacher, Veruska Meloni, talked to the kids about how differences don't matter, and finally, Sasha removed her hat. They followed the discussion up with something that gives us a healthy dose of hope for the future: "She had a little bun on the top of her head. The other teacher and I both put our hair in buns on the top of our heads, saying it was the 'Sasha bun.' Then, one by one, all of the girls (and boys!) wanted their hair in a 'Sasha bun.' We were able to come together as a class and bring a smile to Sasha's face after a long, tough week."

The Sasha BunMy school is predominately Italian kids. Probably more than 95%. I have a new(er) student who is black in...

Posted by Alexondra Purnomo on Thursday, April 7, 2016
Purnomo told PopSugar that Sasha returned to school the next day in a hat again, but her fellow students told her, "But Sasha, you're beautiful!" and encouraged her to remove it. Some of the kids were wearing their "Sasha buns" again, too. Consider this a lesson in how you turn a group of bullies into best friends!

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