Photographer Holds Professional Photoshoot for Eight-Year-Old Girl Turned Away From School Photos

A Chicago-based photographer drove to Michigan to treat an eight-year-old girl to a professional photoshoot after she was “devastated” at being turned away from her school’s picture day for having red hair extensions that violated school policy.

The incident happened to Marian Scott, a third-grader at Paragon Charter Academy in Michigan, back in October. Scott’s father, Doug, expressed his upset, claiming the school’s actions were “uncalled for” and that the institution “didn’t even call us.” Speaking to WILX-TV, he said:

Marian didn't leave the house, go down the street and go get this done on her own. She's eight years old. We did this ourselves in our own home, and there's just no way that I felt like this would happen. If they at least would have reached out to us and said: 'Hey, come get her, she's got a hair issue, we need you to change it, that's not allowed, I could show you in the handbook,' they didn't even go to those extents. They let her stay in school... so if she's not a disruption to the class, then why is she a disruption to the picture?

The school’s policy is that hair color must be natural, something they say was reiterated in the lead-up to picture day, but Scott claims he didn’t receive the memo.

That’s when photographer Jermaine Horton reached out, offering Scott a photoshoot of her own. He says his motivation was imagining “what this would do to such a beautiful little girl."

The clothes for the shoot were even donated by designers. Horton says he asked Scott to “let her emotions out,” and these are the resulting images.

He added:

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!

Lead image: Jermaine Horton.

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MC G's picture

If they had to call every parent who didn't follow the rules they'd never get anything done. Why would she get special treatment?

michaeljinphoto's picture

My question is why there is a rule against "unnatural" hair colors in the school photos to begin with... Does it really matter that much?

MC G's picture

Probably because shit could get crazy really quick, best to keep it to basics. We don't know but that's their rules. The girl is cute and it wouldn't bother me what they do to their hair but rules have to be followed.

Michelle Maani's picture

How crazy do you think elementary kids get? And why should the rules apply only to photos?

michaeljinphoto's picture

I guess, but one would think that if it was that crazy, it would also be disallowed from the classroom. If I read this story correctly, it seems like she was going to school like this and nobody said anything about it being a problem until picture day. I get that there are rules, but one would assume that if a given appearance is fine in class, it would also be fine for a school photo. Whatever... I suppose the girl and her family got better photos than the school would have offered in the end anyway. I just think it's a strange story.

Peter Hulbert's picture

Because all Children are special

Adrian Bateman's picture

If the issue is big enough to stop her from getting her photos done, then its big enough to warrant a call home.

Its not special treatment, its just the right thing to do. School photos are important to parents and they made a good point that if the hair wasn't a problem in the classroom, why is it a problem for the photos? They deserved to get a call. If the school had that much of an issue with the hair, it should have been dealt with right away.

Here's another more detailed article

Marty D.'s picture

Bless this beautiful child and bless Jermaine Horton for his big heart. Major thumbs up. This school is performing below average in Math, English and Science. I think they have much more important issues to worry about besides hair color.


My school had much more strict rules about so many topics.
Rules are important for life in society.
Children (and parents, apparently) should learn to abide by rules. If you don't like this school rules, go to another.
Trying to force your will unto others and not respecting other people's space is a problem of this age.

Deleted Account's picture

Rules for the sake of having them is pointless. Also, saying "If you don't like this school rules, go to another" is a pretty oversimplified view of how people should deal with these issues. What if the family doesn't have the means to just move to another school?

"Trying to force your will unto others and not respecting other people's space is a problem of this age"

This is ironic because the frivolous rule is forcing the will of the school upon another persons space.


And next thing you will be saying that dying your hair is a human right and the revolution of our age, right?

She couldn't possibly NOT dye her hair. The horror!

School have rules pertaining to uniformity, clothing, hair, this has a purpose.

Deleted Account's picture

"And next thing you will be saying that dying your hair is a human right and the revolution of our age, right?"

nice straw man you've built there.

No... I just think the rule doesn't do anything. Maybe you should expand on why kids shouldn't be allowed to dye their hair. You've only argued that rules have a purpose without providing anything constructive to back up your point. How does this rule have anything to do with academics?

I'll cite your own words again - "Trying to force your will unto others and not respecting other people's space is a problem of this age"

Alex Herbert's picture

Did you read the article? The parent wasn't protesting their right to colour their child's hair, in fact they said they would have changed it had they known. If the child had been in school in the days leading up to photo day, why didn't the teacher say anything then? Did they not notice? If so, then why is it such a big deal?

Jonathan Headley's picture

Big big kudos to Jermaine Horton, applauds to the little beauty Marian, and there should be one strict rule: if some shitheads from school administration shames a 8yo girls over their hair styles and hair colors, the school should be burn down to ashes, school grounds should be covered with salt and sulfur, and the shitheads should be banished from town backward on mules.

Greg G's picture

Wouldn't it be easier and less damaging to the environment to simply change the school administration?

michaeljinphoto's picture

A bit extreme there, no?

David Pavlich's picture

If the parents had the handbook, then they knew what they had done was against school policy. If they didn't like the policy, then they have means to correct it or at least have their concerns voiced, the PTA or PTO.

It's the parent's doing, not the young lady.

Alex Herbert's picture

Did her teacher not notice on the days leading up? Maybe the teacher doesn't know the rules either...

LA M's picture

....because individuals with courage can still show the idiot masses how to be good to each other :-)

Chris Cameron's picture

School is a place where you're supposed to learn there are rules and consequences. This girl just had a lesson that taught her she can get away with breaking the rules and the consequences are a reward. Fantastic.

michaeljinphoto's picture

FFS she had extensions. It's not like she stabbed someone... I think the world will survive someone ignoring a minor rule regarding an elementary school child's appearance on picture day.

Ken Pino's picture

Are you honestly telling me not a single student (or teacher - or administrator) has highlights or low lights in their hair... and not one vain grey haired staff member uses hair color... and that every single blond child in that school is 100% natural blond (because that would beat all the statistics across the country)??? Truly, with all the debates about public and private education currently taking place they chose to spend time and money writing a rule about what color a child's hair can be? Seriously!?! Hair grows back - if dying it purple makes the kid happy then who really gives a flying rats hind side? Focus on teacher performance, student outcomes, and graduation rates - not hair color, for crimeney's sake! It has been declared that children too young to drink or drive can declare themselves mature enough to choose their sexual orientation and reclassify their gender as they see fit but they are not permitted to choose a temporary hair color due to the disruptive nature of said decision!?! Time to take a step back and reassess how rules get made.

LA M's picture

I know you're not being serious...but look at the times we are living in.

A politician is suing a cow....a photographer is suing "not to take pictures of a same sex couple"...

....and the crisis continues...

Ken Pino's picture

suing cow - okay, come on, that's funny... stupid, wasteful, and so many other things that are bad signs for our world... but darn funny - would be funnier if it weren't also those other sad things, but still funny...

Alex Herbert's picture

The worst part is her actual hair isn't even died, she has some coloured hair extensions braided in.

Ken Pino's picture

Exactly... i see no logical reason for this rule none the less this application of it... she us a beautiful little girl who accessorized her hair in some way... they may as well outlaw jewelry and glasses - would make as much sense as this nonsense...

Michelle Maani's picture

How many teachers color their hair? Some rules are stupid and have nothing to do with education or classroom distraction, but rather reflect the tastes of the people in charge.

Deleted Account's picture

Excellent work with the clothing, hair, and photography. It was the right thing to do and it gives professional photography a good name.

John Ohle's picture

Great story and wonderful photos.

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