Osceola County student forced to miss class over pink hair streaks

Dad says daughter wasn't given verbal warning before punishment

Published On: Feb 13 2014 05:40:47 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 14 2014 01:40:44 PM EST
2-13-14 Evan Lambert Hair 5 PM
ST. CLOUD, Fla. -

Administrators at Neptune Middle School forced a student to miss class after they told her the pink streaks in her bangs violated district policy.

The student's father, Josh Henson, says on Tuesday his 14-year-old honor roll student was assigned in-school suspension and it was on the same day administrators pointed out her hair was inconsistent with school policy. She was allowed to study and complete work, but missed in-class instruction.

Henson says administrators told him she'd continue to miss instruction until her hair was dyed back to a "normal" color. She changed back to her natural hair color on Wednesday.

Osceola County Schools officials refused an on-camera interview with Local 6, but cited the student code of conduct, which says it's against policy, "for any student to have his or her hair cut or worn in such a manner, or colored in such a manner, in an extreme fashion such that the Principal ... determines it is so distracting or disruptive that it interferes with the orderly educational process."

Local 6 asked how the hair interfered with the educational process, and a spokeswoman said, "When hair is unnatural colors, it creates a distraction among other students which interrupts learning."

Henson says the same policy district leaders used to keep his daughter out of class requires a verbal warning before punishment for students who violate policy. The school district admitted it did not give the student a warning, but says other factors may have been at play. It would not elaborate, citing student confidentiality.