NEW ORLEANS - It's a video that's been seen thousands of times across the country. A little girl, wiping her eyes because she was told her hairstyle is against school policy.
"We were shocked. And very disappointed," Erika McConduit said.
McConduit is the President and CEO of the Urban League of Louisiana calls what happened racially insensitive.
"We believe that the young lady, all disciplinary action should be withdrawn and that the young lady and her family and anyone else involved, should receive an apology," McConduit said.
(Story continues under video. Can't see video? Click here.)
The Anti-Defamation League of South Louisiana and the Urban League of Louisiana released a joint statement Tuesday, saying that while they understand private schools have dress codes and grooming policies, this particular one discriminates.
The family of the student tells Eyewitness News they are pursing legal action. They also said they were not notified of the change in policy and added that the girl attended a parent-teacher meet and greet before classes started. At the meeting, the parents of the child said they were still not made aware that her hair style broke any rules.
"It's a private school. And so they do have a right to make whatever rules they wish to apply to their school. But, those rules cannot be discriminatory on the basis of race or nationality or anything else that's prohibited," WWL-TV Legal Analyst Pauline Hardin said.
Hardin says the family and their attorney will likely have to show proof that they were specifically targeted.
"If they make a showing of that, then the school's going to have to come back and give some non-discriminatory reason why this child couldn't wear that hairdo," Hardin said.
The school released a statement Tuesday morning saying that their policy was communicated to all parents during the summer and before the first day of school.
They went on to say they are committed to being a welcoming school which celebrates diversity.
"It is not embracing diversity when you have a policy that you know is inherently biased and would disproportionately impact just some of your students," McConduit said.
The girl's family has decided to remove her from the school.
The family and their attorney tell Eyewitness News that they will likely release a statement on Wednesday.
Caresse Jackman can be reached at email@example.com.