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Farmingville mother files discrimination complaint, alleges teacher called daughter's hair 'ethnic'

The family's attorney, Andrew Lieb, says the teacher violated New York's CROWN Act, a law meant to eliminate discrimination on the style or texture of someone's hair.

Jenn Seelig

Apr 4, 2023, 9:48 PM

Updated 442 days ago

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A Farmingville mother says she filed a discrimination complaint after she says her daughter was treated differently because of the color of her skin.
Cindy Covington says her child is a senior at Sachem East High School who loves to learn about hair styling.
The 17-year-old's cosmetology teacher allegedly referred to the African American student's hair as "ethnic" while calling her own hair "normal" and "American."
"There have been incidents after incidents in reference to where she's been made to feel uncomfortable as the only brown girl in the classroom," Covington says.
The family's attorney, Andrew Lieb, says the teacher violated New York's CROWN Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. The law is meant to eliminate discrimination on the style or texture of someone's hair.
"She got told she's not like everyone else. She got told that she's an outcast. She got told that she has different hair," Lieb says.
Covington says she reached out to the school and spoke with the teacher about her concerns. She says she was told from the teacher that, "That's the terminology that we use."
The superintendent of schools told News 12 that the district has not been formally notified or served with any official paperwork.


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