Both sides in an ongoing dispute over the hair policy at local Catholic schools have gone silent, with neither the Archdiocese of New Orleans nor the families of the two students sent home from school last week making statements about what happened at a meeting held Tuesday.
Officials from the archdiocese met with attorney James Williams and the families of Faith Fennidy and Tyrielle Davis, one day after the two sides publicly disputed key details of the behind-the-scenes negotiations from the week before.
A public relations agency that has been handling media inquiries for the archdiocese said Wednesday there was nothing to report. Williams did not return a call for comment.
A video of sixth-grader Faith Fennidy leaving Christ the King Elementary School in Terrytown in tears after being sent home was shared across social media beginning Aug. 21.
By Aug. 22, the families of Fennidy and Davis, who was also sent home, had filed suit against the archdiocese in Orleans Parish Civil District Court, saying the policy disproportionately targeted black students.
The judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the ban on hair extensions, and both the school and the Fennidy family, through Williams, said they were looking forward to resolving the issue at a meeting on Monday.
The archdiocese also indicated it would review the policy on hair extensions and any other policies that might be culturally insensitive.
At 6 p.m. Monday, however, the archdiocese issued a statement saying the meeting had not taken place. It said the girls' families postponed the meeting and then canceled it. It also said it had told them the previous Thursday that it had rescinded the hair policy and that the girls were free to return to school.
Four hours later, Williams' office issued a statement saying the school knew the family wanted to meet Tuesday afternoon, and took issue with the significance of the lifting of the ban in light of the judge's temporary restraining order.
On Tuesday morning, the archdiocese said it would meet that afternoon with the family, but also made it a point of saying a Tuesday meeting wasn't discussed until after it had put out its statement on Monday.
Both sides were spotted by reporters entering the archdiocese headquarters on Walmsley Avenue on Tuesday afternoon, but both sides slipped out a side door just before 5 p.m., avoiding the television cameras at the front entrance.
It remains unclear whether the issue has been resolved or if negotiations will continue.