(CBS) — A high school freshman barred from classes for dyeing her hair red may soon be back in the classroom.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports on the controversy over what is red and what is not.
Daisy Chavero is serving detention at Chicago Bulls High School for dyeing her hair. It’s the color she chose that got her in trouble.
“Thursday I painted my hair red and then they didn’t let me go in class,” she says.
New rules at the West Side charter school say “artificial red hair of any kind is not permitted.”
So, the high school freshman used mahogany brown on the red dye to tone it down.
“I changed it already, and they still said my hair was still red,” the teen says.
When asked why Chavero made the change in the first place — appearing to defy the rule — advocates and her mother argued otherwise. They say the student sports an auburn color.
But rules are rules, some students argue.
Daisy’s mom says she has tried to meet with the principal, who did not return CBS 2’s calls for comment.
The principal did issue a statement defending the school rules, but added: “I regret how this particular instance played out this week. I recognize that the student attempted to make good faith corrections in regard to our initial concern. We look forward to welcoming her back to class on Monday.”
CBS 2 asked a school spokesperson why they have a special rule about “artificial red” hair.
He explained that the original rule says you can only dye your hair a “natural color.” But some people are born with red hair.
The new rule was an attempt to clarify “red” by adding “artificial” and prevent students from coming to school with hair the color of a fire truck.
Benjamin Wolf, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, says students should be allowed to look the way they want to look. He says, however, courts have tended to side with schools in cases like this.