A charter school in Michigan is getting heat after it reportedly stopped a third grade student from being able to have her school picture taken because she had red extensions in her hair.
According to a local NBC station, it wasn’t long after the 8-year-old student, Marian, had arrived for picture day recently at Paragon Charter Academy in Jackson when she was told to go back to class because her hair did not comply with school policy.
Ben Kriesch, the principal of the school, told the station that Marian was denied her school photo because her hairstyle was in violation of school guidelines that required students’ hair to be colored in “natural tones” in order to have their school photo taken.
At the time, Marian’s hair had been styled into a braided bun with red extensions.
The move by the school was met with opposition from Marian’s father, Doug Scott, who called the school’s decision to block Marian from having her picture taken “upsetting.”
“All of this is uncalled for, they didn’t even call us,” he told the station. “Marian didn’t leave the house, go on the street and get this done on her own, no, she’s 8 years old, we did this ourselves in our own home and there’s no way I felt like this would happen.”
“If they would have reached out to us and say come get her … she’s got a hair issue, we need you to change it, that’s not allowed — I would have been fine 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?” he added.
The school told NBC News on Monday that officials “take great care to ensure our families are well-informed about this policy, and also work closely with students and their parents if there’s a concern.”
The school also reportedly called parents prior to the scheduled picture day to remind them of its hair guidelines.
However, Scott told the local NBC station that he never received such a notice and added, had that happened, he “probably would have told Marian’s mother to not do it.”
“But I guess I think it’s good that this happened because now people are going to get the opportunity to see what is really going on,” he said.
Marian’s parents are reportedly planning to take advantage of another time for Marian to have her third grade photo taken later next month.