7th-grader with pink hair allowed back in school

Monday, August 25, 2008

MOUNTAIN GROVE, Mo. (AP) -- A southern Missouri seventh-grader who was suspended for having pink hair has been allowed back in school.

Mountain Grove Middle School student Amelia Robbins returned to classes Monday, after the school district relented, Springfield television station KYTV reported. The 12-year-old had been suspended just days after classes began Aug. 13.

Amelia has said she dyed her hair pink to honor her father, who died of cancer when she was 6.

The reversal came after an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union office in St. Louis wrote to the district last week arguing that students have a protected right to express themselves.

Amelia finished sixth grade at the same school with pink streaks in her hair. She said school administrators warned her not to continue wearing the color, but -- with her mother's permission -- she dyed her hair entirely pink over the summer.

The school handbook says administrators have the authority to decide whether a student is causing a distraction.

District officials have declined to discuss specifics of Amelia's case.

Information from: KYTV-TV, http://www.ky3.com

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