Suspended Gulfport High student wants hair policy changed - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Suspended Gulfport High student wants hair policy changed

In the Gulfport school district handbook, 24 policies are listed under the dress code category, including a student's hair should be clean, neat, and a natural-looking color. (Photo source: WLOX) In the Gulfport school district handbook, 24 policies are listed under the dress code category, including a student's hair should be clean, neat, and a natural-looking color. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

School dress code policies are nothing new, but when it comes to hair, a Gulfport High student thinks the policies go too far. 

"About two weeks ago, I dyed my hair pink," Gulfport freshman Timothy Jenkins said.  

Timothy now has his natural black hair, because when he showed up at school with it dyed pink, he was given multiple warnings to change it. When he didn't, he was suspended. 

"It was a distraction to other students, and they didn't want pink hair being one of the things that represents their school," Timothy said. 

In the Gulfport school district handbook, 24 policies are listed under the dress code category, including a student's hair should be clean, neat, and a natural-looking color.

Timothy thinks the hair color requirement should be taken out, so he's started a petition and collected more than 250 student signatures to change it. 

"The majority of all students have told me my hair hasn't been a distraction at all," Timothy said.  

Timothy's mother, Sheryl Jenkins, said she previously saw other students with colored hair and they didn't have to change it. 

"As soon as he dyed his hair pink, it was like all of a sudden they started cracking down on all the kids," Jenkins said. 

Jenkins doesn't have a problem with her son's hair color. Since she doesn't have a problem with it, she's asking why the school does. 

"They're reasoning for him having natural colored hair is to me an infringement on not only his rights, but my rights as a parent to decide for my child what's best for them," Jenkins said. 

The Gulfport School District released the following statement regarding the hair policy: 

The Gulfport School District has a policy that requires students' hair to be clean, neat, and a natural-looking color. 

The policies of the Gulfport School District are handled in an openly vetted process that includes business leaders, parents, students, and educators. Action Teams review the polices of the Gulfport School District annually and provide guidance for policies that govern our school district.

Timothy plans on keeping his hair its natural color for now, but said he's planning to join a committee to propose a change. 

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