I hate school dress codes. I mean really, is a visible shoulder going to keep a child from learning? No. How about colored hair? Probably not. Sandals without socks? Nope.
And yet, school year after school year, we hear about students being sent home – which actually hinders a child’s education – or singled out – which can cause a dip in a child’s self-esteem – for violations of the school dress code.
Take Marian Scott, a third grader at Paragon Charter Academy here in Jackson, Michigan, for example. She was denied a school photo last month because her hair was not “of natural tones,” as the school dress code dictates.
The Sunday before picture day, the school had sent out a recorded message that went over the dress code, but Marian’s father didn’t get that message. The day of, Marian was allowed to stay in class (so clearly her hair was not that much of a disruption), but was denied the actual photo, which made the 8-year-old cry.
At the time, her father told WILX 10 that he was frustrated at the lack of communication from the school but said that he wasn’t going to remove his daughter. Instead, he sent her to re-take day with all-black hair.
Luckily, that’s not where this story ends. A Chicago-based photographer got wind of Marian’s story and offered to take some photos of her with whatever hair color she wanted.
“When you’re singled out like that it’s a sucky feeling, and you could tell her confidence was just shot,” photog Jermaine Horton told Fox Denver. “It was just a thing I wanted to do out of my heart.”
So Horton drove to Michigan and took did a colorful photoshoot that shows off Marian’s true personality – and boy are they fierce. Just take a look below…
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Good Morning World …. Lets talk about this Photo Session and why it happened. A beautiful young soul named Marian Scott was denied her school pictures because of the Red streaks in her hair. ( Here is the original link to the story https://www.facebook.com/WILXNicoleBuchmann/posts/3014390945297769 ) When I heard about this story I was furious as a parent because the first thing I thought about was the impact of what this would do to such a beautiful little girl. I recached out to @nicole_joy_3 of @wilxtv who covered the story and she got me in contact with the parents. We set a date and I drove from Chicago to @procamphoto to do our OWN photoshoot of this amazing beautiful little girl. I want to thank @pamelajoyblackman CEO of @joymanagementinc who was the angel who purchased items for this shoot from @donitavann ( Vanndalz) (The outfits were amazing)/ Special thanks to Owner and CEO @miekajoi_ of @richgirlcandy who donated her amazing pieces who truly made Marian feel so special and appreciated. Im so blessed to have been apart of this to give her an amazing day that showed her that she truly is beautiful and her hair color was the BOMB! Of course we kept it for the shoot! Follow @art_of_confidence for more stories like this as I continue on to restore more confidence in our children and youth ?? #YourFavoritePhotographer @jermainehortonportraits PS, Thank you @nicole_joy_3 for being so amazing and NOT just being a reporter but also a great humanitarian that went above and beyond! @sony @sonyalpha @stellaprolights Pro Lights CLx8 @westcottlighting Fj400 Westcott RapidBox XXL and XL #ocf #Michigan #Photography #HerShootWasBetter #BlackIsBeautiful #EmbraceYou #blackgirls #power #secure #strong #schoolphotos #photooftheday #picoftheday #SonyA9 #westcottlighting #blackgirlsrock #redhairdontcare #portraits #melaninpoppin #melanin @sonyalpha
In addition to beautiful images, the shoot gave Marian back a little bit of the confidence she lost on school picture day and has inspired Horton to start a new initiative to give other kids back the confidence taken from them.
Personally, I’m really happy that Horton was able to use his talents to boost Marian up, but I am incredibly disappointed that the school was the one that knocked her down in the first place.
Schools are a place to learn and become a responsible member of society. It isn’t their job to dictate how a student dresses or chooses to present herself.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what color a child’s hair is or if she has piercings or if she shows her shoulders, because she’s worth more than how she looks.
What do you think of school dress codes? What about Marian’s new photos? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.