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Florida student's breast cancer awareness hair lands him suspension

A Florida middle school boy was sent to the principal's office and scolded for his pink hair in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

 

Michael Jestes says he wasn't off the school bus two seconds at Hill-Gustat Middle School in Sebring, when the bus monitor sent him to the principal's office. The middle-schooler wasn't given any time to explain why his hair was pink and was immediately sent to in-school suspension, where he stayed for the rest of the day, MyFoxOrlando.com reported.

"I took maybe five steps and the teacher asked me, is this washable? I said no, and she said you need to go to the office," Michael Jestes told the station.

Michael's mother, Jessica Jestes, said the family was watching football on Sunday when Michael asked why the players were wearing pink gloves and cleats. She explained that the players were supporting Breast Cancer, a disease which has affected their family tremendously.

"And he comes to me and he says, 'Well, mom, can I support breast cancer and dye my hair,' and I said sure. So we all participated," she told MyFoxOrlando.com.

His parents are up in arms over why their child has to suffer for supporting breast cancer, a disease he's already lost one grandmother to and his two aunts are currently battling.

"I don't see why he can't support something that's going through our family now," Michael’s father Jeffery told the website.

Hill-Custat Middle School principal Chris Doty demanded that Michael shave his head completely to remove any reminisce of pink. But Michael claims there are plenty of female students who have multiple colors in their hair or have their hair dyed outrageous colors.  

"I have to completely shave my head, so there's absolutely no pink in my hair," Michael Jestes told MyFoxOrlando.com. "If I shave my head, and it's still pink, even in one spot, I have to dye my hair black." 

Jestes reportedly died his hair black to get rid of the pink, but was threatened with suspension again when the school said traces of purple could be seen, MyFoxOrlando.com reports. 

Michael's parents were left stunned after a meeting with the principal where they felt belittled concerning their decision to allow Michael to dye his hair.

"He talked down to us like we were bad parents because we dyed our kid's hair pink and pretty much wouldn't give us the time of day," Jeffery told the website.

The Highlands County school board released a statement that read, "Hill-Gustat Middle School's student dress code states that, 'dying hair an unnatural color or an unusual hair style is distracting and therefore inappropriate for school.'"

However, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Doty issued a statement saying students would be allowed to use the color pink in braids, hair highlights or ribbons, but did not include permission to dye the whole head pink, MyFoxOrlando.com reports.

His mother said she has no choice but to shave his head before sending him to class. She and Michael do not want to jeopardize his good grades by spending another day in suspension.

Click for more from MyFoxOrlando.com.

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