GREER, S.C. — A Greer High School student was sent home on Tuesday before the first bell rang because school administrators said her new hairstyle was a distraction.
Johnee’ McGowen is 15 years old and said she’s ready to hit the books.
“I like social studies, that’s my favorite subject,” McGowen said.
She’s a sophomore at Greer High School and couldn’t wait for her first day of school, but she said she never made it through the front door.
“They told me that because of my hair I wouldn’t be able to go to school,” McGowen said.
Her now black hair, used to be red.
“Red was my favorite color to get my hair style,” McGowen said.
McGowen’s mother, Tiffiny Bruster, went to the principal’s office to try and figure out why her daughter was sent home.
“He felt like it was inappropriate,” Bruster said. “I asked why and he said because it would be a distraction.”
According to Greenville County Schools district dress code, clothing and or hair should not be so extreme or inappropriate because it could be considered disruptive.
“Her hair has been a lighter shade of red, her hair has been blonde highlights,” Bruster said.
She said it’s never been a problem, so that’s why she dyed her daughter’s hair red.
“As a stylist, I’ve done several girls-teenage girls and adults with different color shades- red, blue, green,” Bruster said.
She’s said the hair style is part of her daughter’s personality and flair for style.
“My concern is her right as a student,” Bruster said.
McGowen said she doesn’t mind her new dark hair, but she will never forget her first day of 10th grade.
“I knew that I had to do it in order to go to school,” she said. “I was really ready for that and I can’t get that day back.”
Bruster said she plans to file an appeal to get the day her daughter missed, reinstated.