MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. — An Alabama girl was sent home on the first day of class after school officials said her bright red hair was distracting other students.
Hayleigh Black, 16, was marked “absent” on her attendance record at Muscle Shoals High School.
Students found to be out of compliance with the dress code will not be allowed to attend classes and will incur an unexcused absence, according to the student handbook.
Attorney Jon McGee disputes those policies. He said school leaders never had an issue with the color of the student’s hair until now. Black recently colored her hair bright red.
“Whether people think it’s bright or not, her hair was that same color for the last three years” McGee said. “Now before she even goes to her first day of school it’s an issue.”
Mcgee said Black’s grandmother served on the Muscle Shoals city school board for more than 10 years.
He said her family is well versed in student policies and respects the educational process.
The student is requesting the absence be expunged from her record and wants her hair color to be allowed.
If they can’t come to an agreement — McGee said they’ve discussed steps to proceed with a federal lawsuit.
Superintendent Brian Lindsey said at this time he cannot comment on the situation. He said the school has received the letters and have sent them to the school board’s attorney in Huntsville.
They are currently reviewing the letters, according to the firm representing the district.
CNN contributed to this report.