A high school pupil was turned away from classes on the first day of school when school officials said the colour of her hair was “too distracting.”

Hayleigh Black and her "distracting" hair

Hayleigh Black and her “distracting” hair

16 year-old Hayleigh Black from Muscle Shoals in Alabama says that she has being dying her hair the same colour for three years and it has never been a problem in the past. However, she was turned away, immediately after entering the building and informed it was because her hair was “too distracting.”

Hayleigh, who is a member of her school’s marching band, said: “I have never had anybody come up to me and say, ‘Maybe you shouldn’t have this colour,’ or, ‘Do you think that’s a bad colour’. I don’t really know what to do because I’ve had this color for three years, so I feel like it’s part of me.”

Hayleigh’s mother, Kim Boyd, received a telephone call from the Muscle Shoals High School about her daughter’s hair less than 30 minutes after dropping her off; she says she is unhappy with the school’s decision: “Nothing was ever said last year, never got any calls, never sent home, anything saying it had to be changed up until today. I understand sending kids home for pink or purple or the blue, but Hayleigh is red, and he [the school’s principal] argued it was not a natural shade of red. He said he had already sent home two other ones for that problem, even though theirs were pink and orange, and not any shade of red. He said he had to be consistent; she would have to get rid of the red or go to a darker red.”

Muscle Shoals High School

Muscle Shoals High School

Muscle Shoals City Schools Superintendent Dr Brian Lindsey¬†drew people’s attention to the district code of conduct and said he supports the school’s decision. Hayleigh says she has decided to change the colour of her hair and go back to school.