Woman Faces Suspension for Hairstyle - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/26/02

Woman Faces Suspension for Hairstyle

Inger Bostick
The Chatham County Superior Court just amended its personal grooming policy. Now, after six months of wearing her twist hairstyle to her job on the third floor at the courthouse, one woman was told change her hair or not come back.

A dozen activists from the "We the People Coalition" gathered in front of the county courthouse this afternoon, defending the woman's personal style and her right to work.

"Gross injustices have occurred right here at the Chatham County Courthouse," said attorney Joyce Marie Griggs.

The object of controversy is Inger Bostick's hair.

"It's twisted, a flat twist that lays flat on my head," said Inger Bostick.

And because of this twist, Bostick has spent the week at home.

"I was told this past Monday to leave work and I could return once I change my hairstyle," she said.

Monday, an amendment to the personal grooming policy went into effect. It strictly states new rules for mustaches and sideburns and now reads that dreadlocks and twists are no longer allowed. But activists feel this is a personal attack.

"One must ask the question, does her hair affect her job performance?" asked Griggs.

Inger Bostick has been working in the superior clerk's office for 13 years. Four years ago, she was promoted to deputy court clerk.

"Today is not about hair. Today is about injustice," said Rev. Zack Lyde of the We the People Coalition.

And it's not the first time this has happened.

"Previously I was suspended from work for a week without pay because I came to work with my hairstyle this way," said Bostick.

That was in May. After that week, Bostick says they asked her back, stating she could keep her twists. But then this new grooming policy was put in place and Bostick finds it twisted.

"It's not my intent to change my hairstyle," she said. "I think I look quite nice with it."

The We the People coalition says it's going to fight this battle even if it has to take it to court. The county says this is a personnel matter and cannot comment, but it stands by its personal grooming standards.

Reported by: Holly Bristow

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