Marian Scott, 8, was all ready to get her school picture taken, but was told by her school’s officials that she wasn’t allowed to participate in the photo session because of her hairstyle. Scott had gone to school with red hair extensions but was told that she had violated Paragon Charter Academy’s dress code and therefore could not get her picture taken.
Marian, who lives in Jackson County, Michigan, had wanted red hair extensions for some time and was excited when her mom, Latoya Howard, finally agreed to the new look.
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Howard told Today Parents, “Marian couldn’t stop staring at herself in the mirror. She kept saying, ‘Thank you mom!’ over and over again.”
But, when she got to school, officials told her she couldn’t take a school picture because “hair must be of natural tones,” according to their dress code.
Her father, Doug Scott, told Today Parents, “Marian had to stand in the hallway while everyone was taking pictures. They said she couldn’t represent the school.”
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Marian’s parents spoke to WILX, sharing that school didn’t reach out to either of them about the incident.
“All of this is uncalled for – they didn’t even call us,” her dad said. “Marian didn’t leave the house, got on the street, and this done on her own, no – she’s 8 years old. We did this ourselves in our home, and there’s no way I felt like this would happen.”
“If they would have reached out to us and said come get her… she’s got a hair issue, we need you to change it, that’s not allowed – I would have been with why this happened, but they didn’t reach out to us,” he continued. “They let her stay in school… so if she’s not a disruption to the class, then why is she a disruption to the picture?”
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The school says they did reach out to the parents the day before picture day to alert them of the dress code policy.
Leah Nixon, the school spokesperson, told Today Parents that the school “took great care to ensure families are well informed about this policy.”
However, Scott said he did not receive the message.
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Marian went back to school with black hair the following week and is hoping to retake the photos next month.
While they’re waiting for the retakes, photographer Pamela Morris Lee saw the story and reached out to the parents to take the photos free of charge.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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