Marian Scott, 8, was all smiles during a recent, personalized photoshoot with Jermaine Horton Photography, rocking some stylish outfits and the scarlet streaks in her tresses.
Back in October, the third-grader wasn’t allowed to pose for picture day at Paragon Charter Academy in Jackson because of the hair extensions, WLIX reported. The incident left the girl heartbroken, while her parents claimed they had no idea the colorful braids were not allowed, according to Today.
“Marian had to stand in the hallway while everyone was taking pictures,” the girl’s father, Doug Scott, told Today at the time. “They said she couldn’t represent the school.”
“My daughter is always happy, so to see her crying, it breaks my heart,” he added.
Though the Paragon Charter Academy handbook states that students' hair color “must be of natural tones,” there was no clear directive as to what would happen if a pupil arrived to picture day with bright tresses, per WLIX.
Marian was sent back to class without her photo taken and her parents ultimately pulled her out of the school in relation to the incident.
News of the plight quickly spread in the community, and "dozens" of photographers contacted the family, offering to host a special photoshoot for Marian to boost her confidence after the upsetting ordeal.
Earlier this month, Photographer Jermain Horton trekked all the way from Chicago for an upbeat portrait session in hopes of turning lemons to lemonade and bringing a smile back to the girl’s face. Joy Entertainment and Event Management and Rich Girl Candy CEO Mieka Joi also got involved in the big photo op, donating a wardrobe for the third grader to wear for the pictures.
"It was fun, you got to pose and change clothes and got to be yourself," Marian told WLIX of the special occasion.
Horton, meanwhile, said that getting involved was simply the right thing to do.
“When I heard about this story I was furious as a parent because the first thing I thought about was the impact of what this would do to such a beautiful little girl,” he wrote on Facebook.
“I’m so blessed to have been a part of this to give her an amazing day that showed her that she truly is beautiful and her hair color was the BOMB! Of course we kept it for the shoot!” Horton said of the student’s now-signature hairstyle.
In response, the Scott family is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support that Marian’s story has been met with, WLIX reports. Moving forward, Doug hopes to stay involved with discussions surrounding equitable school policies in the local area.
“It's only going to get better and hopefully we are going to be able to deal with these situations in schools better in the future,” the parent said of the crusade for greater inclusivity.