A memo detailing proper attire for students performing in a Cincinnati middle school’s upcoming winter concert wasn’t music to some people’s ears.

Among other banned hairstyles at Pleasant Run Middle School’s show, the note stated that “large Afros are not acceptable,” prompting cries of racism and that it targeted black students.

“Men should receive the appropriate barber attention the evening before the concert,” the letter reads. “Mohawks, ‘barber design’ and large Afros are not acceptable. Men with long hair…should devote the necessary attention to make sure that hair is neat and pulled behind the neck in a conservative ponytail style.”

There was also a set of rules for females for the concert, which according to the school’s web site, is happening this coming Sunday at Northwest High School.

“Ladies are strongly encouraged to visit the cosmetologist the evening before the concert,” the note states. “Hair must be styled in a manner that will not draw any specific attention to an individual performer on stage. Therefore, bright colors such as pink or red are not permissible.”

The dress and grooming code would be “strictly enforced,” according to the note, and a student who doesn’t comply will be sent home.

The note was sent by the middle school’s vocal music teacher, Steven Reeves, who is black according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Neither Reeves, nor the school, returned the Daily News’ request for comment.

But the the school plans to revise the dress code rules for the concert according to its Twitter account, which also noted that the letter sent by Reeves was not approved by the school’s administration and “does not reflect our views at all.”

The school also apologized for the letter on Twitter, and vowed that “an updated letter on concert guidelines will be sent home on Monday afternoon and will be in alignment with prior years.”

A group called The Black Union posted the letter to Facebook Saturday, writing that the “questionable program…targets black students.” One user commented on Reeves’ pointing out that this was his first year at the school in his letter, posting “it is imperative that this is his last year! No, his last semester. How dare him to try to take our freedom of expression and culture from us!”


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