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September 9, 2011
Star News


Mother beats child for cornrows - Says hairstyle makes daughter look 'country'

Shock and outrage may be understatements of how persons inside a hair salon in St Andrew reacted as a woman disciplined her nine-year-old daughter and argued with a hairdresser for putting cornrows in the child's hair.

The incident happened in St Andrew on Saturday as several children and parents sat inside the salon amid the back-to-school rush.

The mother who had left the child at the salon to get her hair nicely groomed for the first day back at school walked in about 5 p.m. to take her home.

THE WEEKEND STAR was informed that the child attends a popular preparatory school in St Andrew.

Interestingly, when the mother saw the child's hair, she began to fume.

"Wha dis yuh put ina mi pickney head, look how her hair look short, I don't like this, dat don't look good, it look country," she shouted.


Subsequently, the hairdresser explained that the child asked her to comb her hair in the style after she saw another child with the style in the shop.

The explanation given by the hairdresser led the mother to turn her wrath on the child.

"Yuh know yuh nuffi disobey mi, I am the law what I say goes. Mi say yuh hair fi plait, be yourself, be yourself," she yelled.

The mother then ordered the hairdresser to pull out the cornrows and plait the child's hair. Following that, she stormed out of the shop, leaving the child behind.

"Go with yuh mother," the hairdresser told the child.

The reluctant child then sat in a chair and began sobbing.

This opened up the discussion in the shop leading several persons to voice their opinions.

"She a tell the child to be herself when is she want the child hair to plait. That is what she wants, not the child," one woman said.

"No sah, mi neva know say cornrow country, look how the child hair look good, she a gwan like the pickney hair long, a di best me eva see da likkle girl yah hair look," said another hairdresser inside the shop.

Another woman said, "Mi neva know say black people still prejudice 'gainst demself. It look like because the likkle girl go prep school, she want har fi have hair fi flash like the half-white pickney dem."

By this time the hairdresser was adamant that she was not going do over the child's hair.

"If yuh nuh do it over, the mother probably beat her," one of the customers said.

slapped with a comb

Soon after the customer told the hairdresser that she would pull out the cornrows and another hairdresser said she would plait it to avoid putting the child in a bad position.

About an hour later, the mother stormed back into the shop and began using a comb to slap the child in the face.

"When she is paying for it, she can say she want a different style. When I talk, no dog bark," she shouted.

This prompted the customers inside the shop to tell the mother to desist from scolding the child in that manner. "Yuh cyan do dat, dats not right," said one customer.

When contacted, a police source told THE WEEKEND STAR that incidents such as these should be reported to the police, as it is a breach of the Child Care and Protection Act.

He explained that the mother could have been arrested and charged for being cruel to the child.

Furthermore, it was noted: "Any independent citizen who observe such an act could have gone to the police and reported it as provisions are made under the act for them to do so. The act also says that anyone who knowingly witnesses such an act and refuse to report it can also be arrested."

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