Target: Belton Middle School Principal Adrienne Davenport
Goal: Apologize for suspending student who died her hair pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and remove her suspension from her record
Recently, a young student at Belton Middle School in Alabama dyed a portion of her hair pink in order to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Rheanne Sargent and her mother both chose to dip-dye the ends of their hair to show their support. However, when Sargent arrived at school with her dyed hair, she was immediately suspended for ‘non-human hair color’. The statement behind the dye was explained to school officials, but ignored.
Many schools have rules against unnatural hair color because it may be distracting to other students. However, Sargent’s choice to dye her hair was not for attention to herself—it was to bring attention to an important cause. School officials should have been able to recognize her efforts and encouraged her to show support. If dyeing her hair was truly inappropriate, Sargent should have been encouraged alternate ways to support the cause, instead of punished for her support. However, many agree that this act was not inappropriate. According to Sargent’s mother, “I do believe if the child wants to be an individual and show that they’re supporting something that’s killing thousands of women, I believe, yeah, they should make an exception. They should change the rule.”
Sargent did not deserve such a harsh punishment for showing support for an important cause. School officials should have guided her to a more appropriate way of showing support for this important cause, instead of punishing her without providing an alternative. Demand that the school apologize to this young girl and remove the suspension from her record.
Dear Principal Davenport:
Recently, Rheanne Sargent was suspended for showing her support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To show support, she dyed a portion of her hair pink. Instead of being guided to an alternative way to show her support, she was suspended without question. Sargent and other students were given the message that supporting an important cause is inappropriate.
I ask you to apologize to Sargent and remove the suspension from her record. She was not trying to disrupt her fellow students or bring attention to herself, only to the important cause of breast cancer awareness. Suspension was too harsh a punishment for a girl only trying to spread awareness of an important cause.
[Your Name Here]