High school student sent home because of her ‘non-natural hair color’

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- A high school student in St. Louis was sent home because her hair was "not a natural color" and violated the school's dress code.

Savannah Keesee, a junior at West County High School in St. Francois County, spent Tuesday at home in Irondale because of her hair color.

“She just wanted it a little bit different. We had a bunch of snow days, and did some girl stuff and dyed her hair,” Savannah’s mother, Sheri Keesee, told KTVI.

The permanent auburn dye turned Savannah’s natural red hair a little brighter than expected, but Savannah says she didn’t expect the principal to object.

“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,'” Savannah recalled. “I tried to go back today and he said I couldn’t stay because my hair was still the same color.”

Savannah was told her hair violates the school’s dress and grooming code.  According to the school handbook, “Non-natural hair colors will not be permitted. For example, green, purple, blue, etc.”

Savannah's mother insists she dyed it auburn.

"Auburn to me is natural, just like strawberry blonde or blonde, or black or brown,” Sheri Keesee said.

West St. Francois County Superintendent Stacy Stevens declined to comment on Savannah's situation, but he said the hair color policy has been in place for decades.

“We try to work with the students to be fair," Stevens said. "We don’t want them out of school, we don’t typically have issues with this policy. I think our students and parents are accepting of it. It’s been in place a long time, and I think it’s a policy that works."

Savannah hopes the school district will work with her, especially since the dye will probably dull over time.

9 comments

  • Mr. Bob

    “We try to work with the students to be fair,” Stevens said. “We don’t want them out of school, we don’t typically have issues with this policy. I think our students and parents are accepting of it. It’s been in place a long time, and I think it’s a policy that works.”
    Here again we have the leaders of academia at West County High School showing us they don’t have the common sense to come in out of the rain. Suspended from school over hair color, really??? I would agree on not allowing female students to wear clothes that were too revealing, or male students to wear their pants low exposing their underwear but this is ridiculous. If a student cut their hair for Locks of Love would they be suspended from class also? If a number of students shaved their heads to support a fellow student who was going through chemo treatments and had lost their hair would they be suspended as well?? Welcome to the 21st century West County High School. Kids do dye their hair crazy colors in this day and age, and it doesn’t disrupt teaching in the classrooms. Please allow this girl to get her education…

  • PurpleHair DontCare

    So what? This is stupid.. as previously stated these rules apply in adult work places. . let kids be kids. They only get the opportunity to be kids and do these fun things once. when I was in school I had my hair every color of the rainbow, shaved my head once (aside from 2 12″ pieces of hair in front, which were bright green and often spiked up) and had a 14″ hot pink mohawk for awhile. Guess what? I was still on honor roll, the other kids in school still learned. And the school never went up in flames. Let kids be kids!

  • PH

    I dont’ see any snow on the ground! I call BS on her mom’s claim about Snow Days. Who cares, she got to stay home from school, I bet she was really upset, huh?

  • lolsmack

    Good on the school for actually enforcing their rules. Typical trash parents going to the media to cry about their child being punished for breaking the rules. Way to teach your child to be a useless cry baby when she doesn’t get her way.

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