Emerson HS Student Forced To Leave School Because Of Hair Color

Wednesday, October 7th 2015, 10:34 pm
By: News 9

An Emerson High School mother is furious as her daughter is forced to miss school because of a dress code violation.

The 18-year-old senior was sent home shortly after she got to school Monday morning, and because of her hair color, she hasn't been back.

“And she can’t come to school because her hair is a Ronald McDonald red, and it’s not,” said Tucker.

That's what Vanessa Tucker said she was told by the school's vice-principal.

Vanessa said her daughter Sarah Bonacci has been forced to stay home for the past three days.

She said she was told by the administrator Sarah's hair color violates the school’s Dress Code policy.

“He had told her that she could come back in six months when she could color it back to her natural color,” said Tucker.

Emerson's dress code does boldly state, "Hair must be of natural color. NO RED, BLUE, PINK, PURPLE, etc."

“If her hair was blue, green, purple, orange, like a clown, I can understand, or red like he thinks her hair is,” said Tucker. “I don’t feel that her hair color is an unnatural hair color.”

Vanessa said there was nothing they could do to change her daughter's hair color without severely damaging it.

She said they were told by school administrators to either re-dye Sarah's hair or buy a wig.

“She was in tears,” said Tucker.

In a statement, an Oklahoma City Schools spokesperson told News 9, "The district has conducted a preliminary investigation into the incident and determined that Emerson's policy regarding dyed hair will be administratively reviewed."

“She shouldn’t have been counted absent, she shouldn’t have been absent because of her hair color,” said Tucker.    

Vanessa wants the three days her daughter missed this week to be excused.

The district says Sarah will be allowed to return to Emerson, Thursday.