Bold Hair Hues Lead to Suspension for 6th-Grader

Filed under: In The News, Tween Culture

Turns out parents best not encourage their kid to express herself with hair color -- or at least they need to read the school handbook before heading to the salon with their tween or teen.

When Stephanie Plato showed up to school with the cool new hair color her mom got her as a present for her 12th birthday, it cost her two days of school, according to ABC affiliate

The Texas sixth-grader's cool new "do" of red and blonde highlights streaked through her naturally light brown hair earned her an in-school suspension.

"I was shocked," Stephanie's mother Jessica Leyer tells KTRK. "They said she had to go to ISS (in-school suspension) or she had to go home, so I took her home because I didn't want her to sit in ISS for her hair color."

Officials at Cobb Elementary in the Channelview, Texas school district say the red highlights violated the student code of conduct. But Stephanie's mom says she never intended to violate the rules.

"I think it is bright, and it is brighter than we intended," Leyer tells KTRK. "But, I don't think it is a distraction or that kids won't be able to sit and concentrate in class because of her hair."

Meanwhile, sixth-grader Plato says the red and blonde streaks were a big hit with her classmates.

"They said they liked it and it was cute," the student tells KTRK. She adds that she wanted the hair streaks for her birthday "because they're cool."

But cute came with a cost. Plato was not allowed back into school until her hair was once again streakless. She had to color it a dark brown to hide the red and blonde, says her mom.

This is not the first time hair coloring caused a stir at school.

Last August, four San Antonio high school students, including honor student Damaris Duarte, received in-school suspensions for hair color, according to

"There's a girl in my first period who has pink hair and I don't think it's fair I have to change it when I've had it the same way for four years and she has bright pink hair and she gets to keep it," Damaris tells WOIA.

As for Stephanie Plato and her mom Jessica Leyer, they have been schooled when it comes to hair styles. "Read the handbook," Leyer tellsKTRK.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.