A high school in St. Louis, Missouri has banned one of its students from returning for dyeing her hair red – not an unnatural, distracting red, but a very average shade of auburn. West County High School has rationalized its decision to ban young Savannah Keesee by stating she had violated the school’s dress code by altering her natural hair color. Keesee and her mother, Sheri, say that is ridiculous.
“She just wanted it a little bit different. We had a bunch of snow days, and did some girl stuff and dyed her hair,” Sheri Keesee says of her daughter’s decision to go red. Savannah herself is just as troubled at the decision, rightly pointing out that this is her Junior year, arguably the toughest in all of high school. Surely more pressing issues should be focused on than this, all things considered.
But no, as Savannah recalls, “He goes, ‘Your hair is really bright.’ I said, ok, he goes, ‘You need to call your mom and have her come pick you up.’ I tried to go back today and he said I couldn’t stay because my hair was still the same color.”
The principal of West County High still seems to be sticking to his guns, too, saying that in order for Savannah to be allowed back to school as a regular attendee, he had “better see no more red hair.”
No news yet on how long this epic standoff between this beacon of moral integrity and West County’s principal will last, but I am hopeful it will resolve itself fairly quickly once word spreads. One way to persuade the principal himself to reconsider would be for someone to explain to him – as slowly as necessary – just how hair dye works, and that it does grow out and/or dull in appearance when left alone.
After all, for this poor girl to return to school this year with “no more red hair” as the principal requests, she would have to, well, dye it another natural color. And after these events, who in her right might would take such a risk?