Girl Suspended For Coloring Her Hair An Inoffensive Shade Of Red

rylee
A quick informal R29 poll has revealed that the editors here, in high school, in no particular order, have: dyed their tips hot pink, channeled Angela Chase, grown out their hair and given themselves an undershave, double-colored their hair a charming mix of Barney with purple and green, used Jolene bleach for impromptu highlights, and one intrepid R29er used a perm to recreate dreadlocks. (Don't ask.)
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These stories prove a point. In high school, we all struggle to find ourselves, making hilariously ill-conceived decisions that help us define who we are, be it a sports team tribute, a look inspired by a favorite musician, or just a tweak to help someone feel better about themselves. Which is why we're floored by this story of a Utah girl who was suspended for dyeing her hair red. Not fire engine red or candy apple red, mind you, but a simple auburn-ish hue. Fifteen-year-old Rylee MacKay was told by her principal that she had to leave school until she "toned her hair down" and went back to brown.
Here is where the story gets particularly cringeworthy. Rylee and her family moved to her Utah town two years ago, and the girl has had trouble fitting in. According to her mom, when Rylee colored her hair a few months ago (the issue occurred after a brighter touch-up), her daughter "(felt) beautiful with the red hair. Changing her hair really changed her; she really blossomed...When she got red hair, she got compliments, and even her teachers told her, ‘Wow, your hair is beautiful,' and it really helped her."
As if being a teen weren't hard enough, having the entire town talk about your hair is a special type of embarrassing. Yet, it's not as if Rylee went neon green or tiger-striped; her hair color is just a rich auburn — which we only point out because it is conceivably within the "natural spectrum." Experimenting with hair is certainly a rite of passage for many teenagers, since it's both expressive and impermanent. But poor Rylee doesn't even sound like she's experimenting — it appears she knows what makes her feel good about herself, and her school apparently deems it disruptive.
Our hearts go out to Rylee, and (as Jezebel writes) this is just another reminder: No amount of money or coaxing would ever make us want to return to high school again. It also bring us back memories of poor little Marcella Marino and her banned hair bow. They say kids can be cruel, but we're starting to think it's the school officials who are making these kids' lives more difficult than they need to be, all in the name of preventing "disruption" in the classroom.(KSL)
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Photo: Via KSL
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