Shawn Thomas

ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) — A Muscle Shoals teenager was sent home on the first day of school for her “distracting” hair color, WAFF reports.

Hayleigh Black, 16, was sent home before even making it to her homeroom, with her mother receiving a phone call to come pick her back up.

Black states that the red hair has never been an issue in the past three years that she’s been dying it that color.

“I have never had anybody come up to me and say, ‘Maybe you shouldn’t have this color,’ or, ‘Do you think that’s a bad color,'” Hayleigh said.

Black’s mother was even more shocked.

“Nothing was ever said last year,” said Kim Boyd. “Never got any calls, never sent home, anything saying it had to be changed up until today.”

According to student code of conduct, it is up to the discretion of the principal and vice principal of the school to determine if a hair style or color is disruptive, and it seems that this year, Black’s hair fit that description.

When Boyd asked what the problem was she was given a clear response by the principal.

“He said he had already sent home two other ones for that problem, even though theirs were pink and orange, and not any shade of red. He said he had to be consistent; she would have to get rid of the red or go to a darker red,” Boyd said.

Boyd then went higher up and made contact with the district office where the superintendent, Dr. Brian Lindsey, supported the principal and vice principal’s decision.

“The dress code section of the Muscle Shoals High School Student Handbook states, ‘Students will not be allowed to attend classes if their attire includes the following:’ Item #6 specifies, ‘Hair which has been dyed a bright or distractive color. Dyed hair will be permitted only if the hair is dyed a natural human color,'” said Lindsey.

“There were four students in violation of item #6 who were sent home today by high school administration. I support the decision of the high school administrators and appreciate the cooperation of the students and parents involved concerning this issue,” Lindsey went on to say.

For now, the issue remains unresolved as Lindsey states that he and Boyd will have to agree to disagree on the subject of her daughter’s hair color.  Hayleigh has agreed to change her hair color so that she won’t miss any more school time.


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