JACKSON, Mich. (WILX/Gray News) - A Jackson County School is defending its decision to block an 8-year-old girl from getting her picture taken because of her hair.
The principal of Paragon Charter Academy said her red extensions violated school policy, but her father told WILX there’s more to this than just her hair.
Marian Scott, 8, said she cried and felt singled out when she wasn't allowed to have her school photo taken.
Now her father is trying to get answers through his own tears.
"It's upsetting you know," cried Doug Scott, Marian's father.
Marian's baby picture proudly hangs on her parents’ wall for all to see, but her 3rd grade picture is missing since she was denied a school photo last week.
"All of this is uncalled for. They didn't even call us," Doug Scott stressed. "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."
The academy handbook says that students' hair color must be natural tones to get their picture taken.
Even so, the course of action if a student shows up with colored hair is unclear. The uncertainty left Scott confused and frustrated when Marian was told she couldn't have her picture taken, but could return to class.
"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," Doug Scott explained. "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?"
The school did send out a recorded message the Sunday before photos were taken going over the dress code policy, a message Doug Scott says he never heard or saw.
"Had I seen the email, I 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.
WILX reached out to the school on Monday. Principal Ben Kriesch said that students with a hair color or style violation are given a week or so to get it corrected, which is why Marian was allowed to remain in class.
Her family is not taking Marian out of the school, but they would like to see better communication from Paragon administrators in the future.
For the first time since the incident, Marian attend school on Monday. She walked in this morning with all black hair.
Her family plans on getting her picture taken on retake day on Nov. 12.
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