High school student sent home because of her ‘non-natural hair color’

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- A high school student in St. Louis was sent home because her hair was "not a natural color" and violated the school's dress code.

Savannah Keesee, a junior at West County High School in St. Francois County, spent Tuesday at home in Irondale because of her hair color.

“She just wanted it a little bit different. We had a bunch of snow days, and did some girl stuff and dyed her hair,” Savannah’s mother, Sheri Keesee, told KTVI.

The permanent auburn dye turned Savannah’s natural red hair a little brighter than expected, but Savannah says she didn’t expect the principal to object.

“He goes, 'Your hair is really bright.' I said, ok, he goes, 'You need to call your mom and have her come pick you up,'” Savannah recalled. “I tried to go back today and he said I couldn’t stay because my hair was still the same color.”

Savannah was told her hair violates the school’s dress and grooming code.  According to the school handbook, “Non-natural hair colors will not be permitted. For example, green, purple, blue, etc.”

Savannah's mother insists she dyed it auburn.

"Auburn to me is natural, just like strawberry blonde or blonde, or black or brown,” Sheri Keesee said.

West St. Francois County Superintendent Stacy Stevens declined to comment on Savannah's situation, but he said the hair color policy has been in place for decades.

“We try to work with the students to be fair," Stevens said. "We don’t want them out of school, we don’t typically have issues with this policy. I think our students and parents are accepting of it. It’s been in place a long time, and I think it’s a policy that works."

Savannah hopes the school district will work with her, especially since the dye will probably dull over time.


  • Mason

    Rules are rules no matter how dumb or ridiculous they might seem. If people don’t follow them, there are penalties. If no one follow the rules we have anarchy!

  • Bethi

    I don’t really have any strong feelings about this issue one way or another, except to wonder if others see the irony in so many of these news posts, or feel like I do; that we’re becoming quite hypocritical and immature as a society. And by that, I mean that so many of us, egged on by advertising, celebrities and/or today’s new style of parenting, want to show what rebels we are, and how unique we are by breaking the rules, doing whatever we want and flaunting convention, but when called out to face the consequences of our behavior, we just want to be treated like everyone else.

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