EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSStudent Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Sent Home From School
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Taisha Walker
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Oct. 11, 2013 1:32 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 11, 2013 4:13 PM EDT
St. Albans , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Some St. Albans baseball players are going pink for the cause. But it was that action that got one elementary school student sent home.
Coaches and a few baseball players with the Tornado Tigers had their hair bleached and dyed magenta pink Wednesday night in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some even had had the breast cancer ribbon and their baseball numbers added in black. Tornado Tigers baseball coach Todd Johnson said the boys wanted to do something bold to support their family members who are battling or have passed away from the disease.
On Thursday morning, a Central Elementary student was sent home from school because school administrators said his pink hair was too distracting, said Tara Frame, the student's mother. Frame said she was told her son's hair violated the Kanawha County Board of Education's dress code policy. The policy states that a student cannot dress or groom in a manner that disrupts the educational process.
Johnson's son, who is a fifth grader at Alban Elementary, was not sent home from school for sporting his bright hairdo, although his school follows the same school board guidelines. Alban Elementary Principal Bobbi Lewis said she greets her students every morning and immediately noticed the pink hair on one of her students.
Lewis, who is known by her students as a strict enforcer of the dress code, said instead of approaching the student she spoke with his teacher.
"I asked if she had a problem with it, and if she felt like it would be a distraction in the classroom and she said he's a great kid," Lewis said."He explained to me why he did it, because he wanted to honor family members who passed away or who were fighting breast cancer currently and he wanted to explain this to his classmates."
Johnson said he was happy that Lewis supported his son in his effort to spread awareness to his fellow classmates. But the coach said he was disappointed that one of his baseball players was sent home from his school for doing the same.
"She (Central Elementary Principal Tamela Moore) said he could have worn a lapel if he wanted to support it." Johnson said. "He wanted to go big. He wanted people to see how much he supports, actually his grandmother. And he really wants to do it in support of her."
Frame said her son was allowed to return to Central Elementary Wednesday morning after he dyed his hair back to its natural color. Frame said it took close to three hours Wednesday night to have it dyed pink. Permanent hair color can only be removed it if it dyed a darker color or is cut off completely.
Johnson said other members of his baseball team plan to show their support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month by having their hair dyed Friday night.
Central Elementary Principal Tamela Moore did not want to comment Friday morning regarding the dress code policy.
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