A high school student in Muscle Shoals, Alabama wasn’t allowed to attend classes on her first day of school because officials said her hair color was “too distracting.”
16-year-old Hayleigh Black says she’s been dyeing her hair the same red color for three years and her school has never had a problem with it in the past, but immediately after walking into the building, Black was informed that the color was distracting.
"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,'" said Black.
Black’s mother Kim Boyd says she received a call about her daughter’s hair not even a half hour after dropping her off at school, and she was not happy about the school's decision.
"Nothing was ever said last year," Boyd said. "Never got any calls, never sent home, anything saying it had to be changed up until today. I understand sending kids home for pink or purple or the blue, but Hayleigh is red, and he [the principal] argued it was not a natural shade of red. 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.”
Black says she is conflicted because she’s had the same hair color for so long.
“I don't really know what to do because I've had this color for three years, so I feel like it's part of me,” Black explained.
The superintendent of schools says he supports the decision to not allow Black in school with her hair color and cites the district’s code of conduct. Now, Black says she plans to change her hair color so that she can go back to school.