High school student sent home for red hair deemed 'not a natural color'

IRONDALE , Mo. - Hair color is at the center of a controversy in Missouri.

A high school junior was sent home by her school principal for showing up to school with red hair that is apparently "not a natural color."

Savannah Keesee says she used an auburn dye which turned her natural red hair a little brighter than expected. However, she didn't expect the West County High School 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. So I tried to go back today and he said I couldn't stay because my hair was still the same color," Savannah said.

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.

West St. Francois County superintendent Stacy Stevens couldn't comment specifically on Savannah`s situation, but he says this hair color policy has been in place for decades.

"We try to work with the students to be fair. 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," said Stevens.

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

Her mother wishes the principal would worry about bigger issues, instead.

"Instead of maybe picking up on the bullying, and kids who are actually causing trouble, its hair color," said Savannah's mother Sheri Keesee.