Have you heard of the Jolly Rancher Hairdo? This is a hairdo in which Jolly Ranchers are tied to the ends of the hair. How could any kid, or candy fanatic, not love this hairstyle? When a seven-year-old student at a Chicago school excitedly sported it for picture day after seeing the style in a magazine, her computer teacher could not believe it, or, actually, claimed that her (likely candy-restricted) boyfriend would not believe it. So she took a photo. Inevitably, it ended up on Facebook.
Aside: Teachers. Come on. Let’s get it together. Haven’t you learned the lessons of Facebook yet? Don’t put anything about your students on Facebook. Don’t put anything about your scandalous private life on Facebook. In fact, don’t even be on Facebook. Take your photos and tell your stories and let your friends mock your students in person. Jesus. If you are a computer teacher and you don’t know this, you have no business teaching. I weep for the world.
At any rate, once the photo of Ukailya Lofton’s creative hairstyle hit Facebook, you can imagine, things got bad. Via the Daily Mail:
The comments that appeared on the teacher’s Facebook page said things like: ‘I laughed so hard my contact popped out’, ‘yeah this is foolishness’ and ‘If you are going to make your child look ridiculous the least you could do is make them matching.’
[Matching Jolly Ranchers? Have you no fashion sense whatsoever?]
Of course, Ukailya’s mom, Lucinda Williams, found out, because someone always tells the mom because there is no such thing as privately mocking a child on the Internet, where we are all connected, no matter what you think. The photo has been removed, but now Williams is demanding that the teacher say she’s sorry, and she’s lawyered up, with a news conference scheduled today. The school is investigating the incident.
Most poignant, of course, are the words of a child with a mocked Jolly Rancher hairdo:
Ukailya said: ‘My mama told me she put it on Facebook and then I felt sad.’
Don’t worry, Ukailya. As goes our daily aphorism, “Haters gonna hate.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 1, 2011