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Michigan third grader denied school picture because of red in her hair

LANSING, Mich. (NBC NEWS) – A Michigan third-grader was told she could not take her school picture because there was red in her hair, according to her family.

Marian Scott, who is black, showed up to school for picture day with red braids fashioned into a bun. But school officials told the 8-year-old her hair violated the picture day policy and sent her back to class, her family told NBC affiliate WILX in Lansing.

“Marian didn’t leave out the house, go down the street, and go get this done on her own,” her father, Doug Scott, told WILX. “She’s 8 years old. We did this ourselves in our home and there’s no way I felt like this would happen.”

Marian’s school, the Paragon Charter Academy in Jackson, 85 miles west of Detroit, has a strict dress code in its student handbook, outlining that hair color must be in “natural tones” to get pictures taken. Paragon Academy also says that hairstyles must be “conservative” and that “extreme hairstyles” are not permitted.

The school sent out a recorded message the Sunday before picture day detailing the dress code, the local station reported, but Scott said he never saw the message. Had he seen it, Scott said, he would have changed his daughter’s hair.

Scott also said he doesn’t understand why his daughter was allowed back in class, but couldn’t take the picture.

“If she’s not a disruption to the class, then why is she a disruption to the picture?” he asked.

Paragon Academy confirmed the school’s hair guidelines to NBC News, adding “We 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.”

Principal Ben Kriesch told WILX that students are given a week to “correct” their hairstyle violations, which is why Marian was allowed to stay in class.

Marian’s family said the third-grader returned to school on Monday without any red in her hair.

NBC News

NBC News

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