Hair color may stop senior from walking at graduation

Published On: May 22 2012 06:22:55 PM CDT   Updated On: May 22 2012 07:06:48 PM CDT
FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas -

A high school senior should be excited about graduation, but she is devastated.

Nicole de Yborrando said Elkins High School administrators threatened to not let her walk at graduation because of her red hair.

"I don't see how this could be distracting," said Nicole. 

On Tuesday, Nicole said she was sent home from school and told she couldn't walk on graduation day because of her hair color. 

"Two weeks before graduation. One week before finals. It doesn't make sense," said the student. 

According to her father, Nicole dyed her hair months ago. 

"I would have totally supported the school day one, two or three. She violated the rules. But 30-something days later?" said Louis de Yborrando. 

Nicole and her father admit they did not know it was against district policy. 

The portion of Fort Bend Independent School District policy, as it relates to hair, states, in part: "... any artificial coloring, special styling, or additional hairpieces must not detract from or interfere with the educational environment."

But Nicole says she has been at school and school-related functions since she dyed her hair in March. She said she has participated in a school fashion show, an awards ceremony for seniors and prom and no one said a word until Monday. 

"Who dropped the ball? It's hard to say. Who's responsible for it? Is there fashion police at school I don't know," said de Yborrando. 

Nicole and her father met with Elkins principal Tuesday, after the senior was sent home. 

A Fort Bend ISD representative confirmed the family met with officials. They responded to our request by a statement as follows: 

"Elkins administrators met with the student and her father today.  The senior student had been told yesterday to remove the pink artificial coloring from her hair before returning to school or she would be placed into in-school-suspension pending its removal.  At no time was the student told she could not participate in graduation.  Rather, the student was told that she would need to have the dye out of her hair before the graduation, which is June 1 for Elkins.  The District believes the student's attire and grooming, including any artificial hair coloring, should not detract from or disrupt the educational environment."