It might be appropriate to tell a child not to dye her hair. But shouldn’t that be a parent’s decision, rather than a public bureaucrat’s?

When I first saw this story, I assumed the girl had surprised teachers and faculty with some new exotic color of her hair. It bothered me that she simply looked like a redhead, not some impossible purple- or green-headed mutation.

Is red hair distracting?

But it turns out that she has attended school with this same hair color for years! The Huffington Post reports,

Hayleigh Black was all ready to start the new school year in her homeroom class last week. But before she could even get there, the 16-year-old high school student was told to go home – all because of her “distracting” hair color.

According to WAFF-TV, school officials at Muscle Shoals High School in Alabama told Black, whose hair is dyed red, that she wouldn’t be able to attend classes unless her hair was of a more “natural” shade.

But Black says she was baffled by the sudden censure, since her hair has been the same shade of red for three years and no one has said anything about it until now.

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