She was barred from getting school pictures taken because of her hair, so she got her own photo shoot done instead.
Marian Scott, 8, was told she couldn’t get school pictures taken because of her “extreme” hairstyle. Her braids, crafted by mom LaToya Howard, were done specifically for the early October picture day.
“Marian had called from a friend of mine’s phone who saw Marian walking down the hallway going to the office,” Howard told Yahoo Lifestyle. “She cried and I told her that she did not do anything wrong.”
The principal of Scott’s school, Paragon Charter Academy in Michigan, said her red extensions went against school dress code policy. The institution’s handbook states that students’ hair colour must be natural tones for picture day.
Global News has reached out to Paragon Charter Academy for comment.
Despite this setback, Chicago-based photographer, Jermaine Horton, wasn’t going to let Scott go without photos — so he staged a powerful photo shoot just for her.
In a striking shot from the empowering photo shoot, Scott can be seen decked out in a colourful dress, open-mouthed smile pointed towards the ceiling with her hands clenched in fists. In another, she stares into the camera lens, powerfully holding one fist in the air.
“This is an 8-year-old girl who was singled out by her school. I’m a father and I’m tired of seeing injustices like this happen,” Horton told CNN. “I wanted to go out there and help build this girl’s confidence.”
Horton made the nearly five-hour drive to Michigan just to photograph Scott, who he requested wear her hair just as she wanted it.
But Scott’s parents, Howard and Doug Scott, know this issue runs much deeper than hair.
“All of this is uncalled for. They didn’t even call us,” Doug said. “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.”
“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 apparently sent out a message recording a few days before picture day to explain the dress code.
In a statement, Paragon Charter Academy spokesperson Leah Nixon said they “take great care to ensure families are well informed about this policy.”
Principal Ben Kriesch told WILX-TV that students with hair or dress code violations are given a week-long grace period to have adjustments made.
“Had I seen the email, I probably would have told Marian’s mother to not do it,” Doug said. “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.”
Scott’s parents have since pulled her out of the school, but said they’ll continue to pressure institutions to change their “outdated” policies.
The third grader has been enrolled at a public school where she “feels like she can be herself,” her dad told Today.
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