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Teen Banned From Track for Socially Conscious Hairdo
Michigan high schooler Mike Barkers socially conscious hairdo earned him a ban from competing at his schools track meets.
Barker shaped and dyed his hair into a hot pink Mohawk to help raise awareness for breast cancer and to support his mom, who is fighting the disease. He practiced for weeks with spiky hair but once he showed up to practice with his hair dyed bright pink, the high school junior was promptly barred from West Iron County High School track meets by his coach and then the schools principal for violating the schools grooming and appearance policy.
Other students from the school and from neighboring towns have now rallied in support, wearing pink clothing and dying their hair the same color.
In an email to ABC News, Christopher Thomson, superintendent of the West Iron County Public Schools, wrote: "[We] support the needs of the students to express themselves, as long as their expression does not interfere with the educational process. We also strive to balance individualism of athletes with the concept of team that fit within our athletic code. The athletic department is going to work with the student and parents to resolve this issue."
"The student was not dismissed from the team and we welcome his participation in the future," Thomson added. "The athletic department has long supported breast cancer awareness by participating in numerous events involving student athletes and staff held in October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) and plan to continue to support this worthy cause."
Barker and his family could not be reached for comment.