MIRAMAR, Fla. – When one of her students was being teased over a hairstyle, Broward County teacher Tiana Poitier used it as a life lesson, and then went one step further.
Poitier, a first grade teacher at Sunshine Elementary, posted the story to Facebook last week, sharing how the student came into class crying because other students were laughing at her "honeybun" hair.
The girl usually wears her hair down with braids and Poitier figures the other children weren't used to seeing her wear her "crown."
Poitier comforted the student, telling her that beauty is internal and that she's beautiful "no matter what others have to say."
"I told her that you don’t need to tame yourself down or that you don’t need to appease anyone else for who you are," Poitier told Local 10. "If you’re coming in today as someone who is not familiar to anyone else who’s not used to seeing your hair like that own it."
She added that she told the child to "own" her crown, that it's all hers.
"This honey bun is your crown, you’re beautiful with a honey bun, with your braids, with your hair down, however – you’re beautiful because it shine’s within – I wanted to reiterate that to her and the rest of my class." said Poitier
When the girl walked into class the very next day, she had a twin as Poitier had her own hair done up in the same honeybun style.
"Now we’re twins and even though she tamed hers down a bit, she was so happy to see that I rocked that same “honeybun.” Poitier posted. "She came in and said 'I’m going to wear my honeybun all week! I like it!'"
"My baby has a pep in her step today, an extra twinkle in her eye and she’s living her best 1st grade life!"
Soon after, even the kids who originally teased the student joined in on the fun.
"On the third day half of my class, the girls, had buns in their hair, Facetime messages from friends, and even a man honey bun." said Poitier. "It really meant a lot to see all the support."
The story gets even better as Poitier posted over the weekend that a local child stylist braided the girl's hair free of charge, choosing a "halo" crown.
"She’s STILL beautiful." wrote Poitier. "She’s STILL dancing in her reign. She’s STILL an inspiration for so many. She’s letting us know that wearing our crown is SOLELY a mindset."